Source : Pixabay/LoboStudioHamburg
While it’s pretty common for government and law enforcement institutions to use social networking sites to monitor their users, recently biggest social networking sites have started to take move against it as Twitter last year started taking actions against developers of surveillance tools. Following same footsteps, Facebook announced yesterday its changed policies to stop developers to collect data without users’ consent.
Earlier last year, Government records obtained by American Civil Liberties Union revealed that popular social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were responsible for providing user data to software company named Geofeed which used the information in its social media monitoring product, which was marketed to law enforcement as a way to monitor activists and protestors. Since then, these social media giants ended their relationship while Twitter said, “Using Twitter’s Public APIs or data products to track or profile protesters and activists is absolutely unacceptable and prohibited.”
And now, Facebook has decided to take actions against any developer creating surveillance tools amid pressure from different social rights groups. The company said, “Our goal is to make our policy explicit. Over the past several months we have taken enforcement action against developers who created and marketed tools meant for surveillance.”
This move by the social network has been welcomed by several human rights group as technology and civil liberties director at the ACLU of California Nicole Ozer said, “Written policies must be backed up by rigorous oversight and swift action for violations. Now more than ever, we expect companies to slam shut any surveillance side doors and make sure nobody can use their platforms to target people of color and activists.”