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Facebook and Instagram ban people from using data to spy

Tyrone Stewart

Facebook has made it clear to software developers that its data – and Instagram’s – is off-limits, in turn preventing US police departments from using the data for surveillance.

This comes after the social network, its Instagram platform, and rival Twitter, experienced pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) following a report that the police had been using location-based analytics platform Geofeedia to monitor protestors.

“We are committed to building a community where people can feel safe making their voices heard. Our approach involves making careful decisions every day about how we use and protect data at Facebook. We also adopt policies that limit how developers, advertisers, and others can use our platform,” said Rob Sherman, deputy CPO at Facebook, in a post.

Sherman explained that Facebook was adding language to its policies that clearly state that developers cannot ‘use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance’.

“Our goal is to make our policy explicit,” he added.