Facebook Suspends Another Data Analytics Firm After Hitting Another Stock High

22 July, 2018, 20:43 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Facebook suspends another analytics firm over potential data misuse

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica flap, Facebook said it suspended 200 third-party apps that had access to large amounts of user info pending review of whether they misused that data.

Boston-based Crimson Hexagon claims it maintains a database of over 1 trillion social-media posts, including from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit and other discussion forums, blogs, and other sources.

For now it's just a suspension - there's no evidence of wrongdoing yet - but Crimson Hexagon was blocked from the Facebook and Instagram feeds after the Wall Street Journal raised questions about its connections to the U.S. government, a Russian organization linked to the Kremlin, and the Turkish government.

News of the suspension comes after The Wall Street Journal queried Crimson Hexagon's contracts with U.S. government agencies and a Russian non-profit with links to the Kremlin.

"The real conversation is not about a particular social media analytics provider, or even a particular social network like Facebook".

"Crimson Hexagon is fully cooperating with Facebook, who has publicly stated its investigation to date has found no wrongdoing." said Crimson Hexagon's Chris Bingham in a statement. "No one using Crimson Hexagon would be able to learn anything about an individual that isn't already contained in publicly-available data".

As with Cambridge Analytica, there is a Russian aspect to the company.

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"We don't allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram", Facebook said in a statement Friday.

Later Friday, Facebook said it was suspending Crimson Hexagon's apps from Facebook and its Instagram unit to investigate how Crimson Hexagon collects, shares and stores user data, the Journal reported.

He wrote that users of Crimson Hexagon's platform, which include government customers, analyze the data to understand large-scale consumer trends and preferences.

"Appearing before the US Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the lawmakers that his own personal data was part of 87 million users" that was "improperly shared" with the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

According to Crimson Hexagon's website, customers include Paramount Pictures, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Adidas, General Mills, General Motors and Twitter. In addition, the social-media company offers application programming interfaces to let developers use public or aggregated information for business purposes.

Close on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has suspended another company that allegedly harvested data from its site, BBC reported on Saturday.

Facebook is investigating a social analytics company called Crimson Hexagon because of its potential dealings with a Russian organization and other concerns over how it handled private data. "Facebook has a responsibility to help protect people's information which is one of the reasons why we have tightened our APIs significantly over the last few years".

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