Facebook announced Monday that it is cutting police departments off from a vast trove of data in the wake of concerns over law enforcement’s tracking of protesters’ social media accounts in places such as Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, reports the Denver Post.

Facebook, along with Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram, provides developers access to users’ public feeds. The developers use the data to monitor trends and public events. On Monday, Facebook updated its instructions for developers to say that they cannot “use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance.”

Until now, Facebook hasn’t been explicit about who can use information that users post publicly.

The new policy language does not kick law enforcement off the platform. For one, the company cooperates with law enforcement on a case-by-case basis for help in solving crimes.

Police and federal agencies may still siphon people’s feeds in cases of national disasters and emergencies, Facebook officials said. It was unclear how Facebook would decide which emergencies and public events would warrant monitoring citizens’ data and which would constitute unreasonable “surveillance.” “Surveillance” was also not defined in the blog post, a potential gray area that outsiders can exploit. Facebook said it would continue to audit third parties for policy violations and require that developers disclose what they plan to do with data they are requesting access to.

 

Like this story? Want to know why tens of thousands of law enforcement people receive stories like this in their email twice a week?

Subscribe to award winning OnTarget newsletter!

Shares
Share This
0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon
      Available Coupons
      admin20 Get $20.00 off $20 off your cart total.
      adminpromo Get 100% off Free item offered by the administrator
      Unavailable Coupons
      adminsubscriptionretiredfirstpayment Get $120.00 off First payment of retired subscription when paid and added manually.
      cabinfree2days Get $90.00 off Get 2 free nights at the cabin.
      cabinfreeweek Get $315.00 off A free week (7 days) at the associated cabin in one contiguous stay at the time of your choice.
      freebassentry Get 100% off
      golf2024robr Get $700.00 off Rob Richardson sponsor amount to cover his foursome. Check given. Tim approved.
      golfsponsor Get 100% off Free admission to the tournament with a golf sponsorship.
      jh$25 Get $25.00 off Jonathon Hall reimbursement for shirt he purchased that was too small.
      ldf1month Get $13.00 off Prorate an LDF membership for 1 month discount
      ntcvendorcomp Get 100% off This coupon entitles the user to a free vendor table at the NTC conference.
      retired10 Get $10.00 off
      retired60 Get $60.00 off This discounts your current year renewal $60 since you already pre-paid $60 towards your renewal for this year.
      spmtc Get 20% off Special 20% Off all Motor T's for a limited time!