Facebook investigates information firm Red Hexagon

Facebook said it had found no evidence data was improperly obtained Image copyright Getty Photographs Image caption Facebook said it had discovered no proof information was improperly obtained – but may suspend Pink Hexagon while it investigated

Fb has suspended a US-based totally analytics firm even as it investigates considerations in regards to the assortment and sharing of consumer data.

Red Hexagon, based in Boston, describes itself as offering “client insights” and has contracts with government agencies across the global.

Facebook said it was looking into whether or not a few of those offers had been in violation of its policies on surveillance.

The community stated it had now not found any proof to this point that data have been improperly got.

consistent with the Wall Side Road Magazine, Red Hexagon has “contracts to examine public Facebook information for shoppers together with a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin and a couple of US executive businesses”.

In March 2017, Facebook prohibited consumer knowledge being used for presidency surveillance following drive from civil liberties groups concerned concerning the focused on of dissidents and protesters.

“we do not allow builders to construct surveillance equipment the usage of knowledge from Facebook or Instagram,” a Fb spokesman mentioned in a press release on Friday.

“We take these allegations severely, and we have now suspended those apps whilst we check out.”

Pink Hexagon works with an information set that incorporates, according to its personal website, more than one thousand billion social media posts take from Fb, Instagram, Twitter and others. It boasts of having the ability to examine greater than 160m images published online every day.

As neatly as executive work, Red Hexagon has had deals with industrial firms together with Adidas, Samsung and the BBC.

Coverage confusion

Gathering and sharing “information insights” with businesses is not against Facebook ’s insurance policies.

“Folks can percentage their knowledge with developers on Facebook and Instagram – simply as they are able to once they download an app on their telephone,” said Ime Archibong, Facebook ’s head of partnerships.

He stated builders were allowed to “use public or aggregated data to supply anonymised insights for business goal”.

The Place Pink Hexagon might fall foul of Facebook ’s laws is that if the data used to be used to create tools for surveillance, regardless that Facebook has never clarified how its coverage works in observe.

Purple Hexagon did not reply to requests for remark from the BBC. In a blog access posted by way of the firm on Friday, its chief technology officer Chris Bingham defended the company ’s work – with out specifically mentioning Facebook ’s research.

“Red Hexagon best collects publicly available social media knowledge that any one can get admission to,” he wrote, seeking to distance his firm from Cambridge Analytica, the firm which allegedly used an app to scrape private information from the community.

Mr Bingham added: “The True dialog isn’t about a explicit social media analytics provider, and even a specific social community like Facebook. it’s concerning the broader function and use of public on-line data within the up to date world.”

A spokesman for Facebook advised the BBC the firm had already spoken with Crimson Hexagon, and the companies are as a result of meet in the coming days.


Observe Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC

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