The Cambridge Analytica data breach was, without a doubt, one of the biggest scandals Facebook ever dealt with. During the course of that controversy, which erupted this past spring, it was revealed that about 87 million users’ data had been improperly shared with the firm for the purposes of political advertising. But that may have been just the first major revelation regarding Facebook’s handling of our info. This week, Facebook suspended a Boston-based analytics firm called Crimson Hexagon for “building surveillance tools.”
On its website, Crimson Hexagon says it can provide its clients with “instant access to over one trillion consumer conversations from social media, forums, blogs, reviews and more.” The company has worked with major companies like Adidas, Samsung and Twitter, the U.S. government, and, alarmingly, a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Russian government.
The fact that Facebook suspended the firm is a big deal, as is the fact that the company, in its statement, said “We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram.” That’s a pretty serious accusation, and if true, it makes sense why the company acted so quickly. The last thing Facebook wants is another major data and privacy scandal to blow up.
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