Facebook at This particular point explicitly prohibits companies in addition to organizations via using its services for surveillance.
An update to its policies on both Facebook in addition to Instagram prohibits developers via using “data obtained via us to provide tools which are used for surveillance.”
Monday’s policy change come on the heels of investigations via the ACLU, which found social media monitoring companies sold their services to law enforcement, who targeted individuals through Twitter (, , Tech30)Facebook (, in addition to Instagram. The spy tools often disproportionally targeted communities of coloring. , Tech30)
Social media surveillance can be a growing concern, especially among people who use Facebook in addition to Twitter for activism. At the SXSW Interactive festival on Monday, Matt Cagle, attorney for the ACLU of Northern California, hosted a panel on how law enforcement uses social media tools — in addition to how Facebook’s brand-new policies could help stop invasive data collection.
“The language does a Great job of putting developers on notice which surveillance of user data through Facebook can be totally off limits,” Cagle told CNNTech.
Related: Communities call for more control over police surveillance
Though Facebook doesn’t define surveillance in its policies, Cagle says which’s not a bad thing. By banning surveillance in general, the item lets them broadly apply the policy in addition to future-proofs the item, he said.
Facebook reviews services which use its APIs, in addition to will check both their applications in addition to marketing materials to see if they’re advertising services which could be considered surveillance.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have relied on social media tools to track in addition to monitor citizens. According to a study via the Brennan Center for Justice, 156 jurisdictions have spent a total of almost $6 million on these tools since 2010. in addition to the public largely has no idea how they’re being used.
“They mostly don’t have publicly available policies which talk about using This particular monitoring software,” Rachel Levinson-Waldman, senior council for the Brennan Center for Justice, said on Monday’s panel.
Related: Facebook, Twitter block social media surveillance tool
As social media companies continue to restrict the use of their platforms for surveillance purposes, there’s a growing movement for local law enforcement to be more transparent about what types of surveillance tools they’re purchasing.
The Community Control Over Police Surveillance effort encourages cities to implement surveillance ordinances which require law enforcement to publicly report when they want to buy spy tools.
In a blog post announcing its brand-new policies, Facebook says the item’s already taken action against developers who used its platform for surveillance. Geofeedia, for instance, was cut off via Facebook following the ACLU investigation.
“What matters at This particular point can be they actually implement the policies moving forward,” Cagle said.
sy88pgw (Austin) First published March 13, 2017: 4:08 PM ET