Facebook has reportedly suspended another company that supposedly harvested data from its site. Crimson Hexagon, a company based in Boston, US, depicts itself as a “consumer insights platform” that helps “brands analyze audiences, track perception and campaign performance, and detect industry trends”. The firm has had contracts with several government agencies across the world, and Facebook is now investigating if they violated its policies.
Facebook has been under intense analysis since the last few months after it became public that the British political consulting firm, “Cambridge Analytica” had accessed private information of eighty-seven million Facebook users. The company also failed to identify alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in the United States. Lawmakers of various countries had asked Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them to explain about the data breach.
Facebook said it has not yet found any evidence that Crimson Hexagon obtained data inappropriately, but it has suspended the company while it conducts its investigation. “We do not allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram,” a Facebook spokesman said on Friday, as per BBC. “We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate.” Crimson Hexagon’s Chief Technology Officer Chris Bingham defended the company’s work in a blog post on Friday. Though he did not specifically mention Facebook’s investigation, he emphasized that Crimson Hexagon only collects publicly available social media data that anyone can access, and not private social media data. Seeking to distance his company from the data breach scandal, he wrote: “Cambridge Analytica raised alarm surrounding the potential for misuse of private Facebook data, but public data appears to be coming under increased scrutiny as well.”