Facebook data can’t be used for ‘surveillance’

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File photo dated 30/11/15 of Facebook's logo reflected in a pair of glasses. A High Court judge says social workers should make use of Facebook when searching for missing parents.

Facebook is prohibiting developers from using the massive amount of data it collects on users for surveillance. This includes using such data to monitor activists and protesters.

The company said Monday that it is making an existing policy “explicit.” Facebook says it has already taken action against developers who created or marketed tools meant to be used for surveillance.

Last fall, the American Civil Liberties Union obtained records that Facebook and its Instagram service provided user data access to Geofeedia, which develops a monitoring product marketed to law enforcement. The ACLU said at the time that while both Instagram and Facebook cut off access after finding out about this, Facebook did not have a “public policy specifically prohibiting developers” from taking user data for surveillance.

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