Facebook Data Can No Longer Be Used To Build Surveillance Tools

Technology SecurityFacebook announced this week that it will change its developer policy to ban the use of Facebook and Instagram data for surveillance tools.

The social media giant faced a ton of pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Color of Change and the Center for Media Justice after reports that law enforcement agencies were using tools to track protesters on the site.

“We depend on social networks to connect and communicate about the most important issues in our lives and the core political and social issues in our country,” Nicole Ozer of the ACLU said in the statement. “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.”

However, developers might not necessarily listen to the new policy. That’s why the advocacy groups who pushed for the change want Facebook to go even further to enforce it. They have asked Facebook to implement both “human and technical auditing mechanisms” to catch developers that violate the rules — something Facebook says it is already doing. Only time will tell if it’s business as usual with law enforcement snooping on user data, or if the site will really put its foot down to stop the practice.