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Monday, March 13, 2017
Facebook Says Developers Cannot Use Its Data For Surveillance

Facebook is adding language to its Facebook and Instagram platform policies to more clearly explain that developers cannot "use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance."

The newly added privacy clause comes after Facebook found several companies had used its publically available information in an "unwanted" way to track its billions of users.

"Over the past several months we have taken enforcement action against developers who created and marketed tools meant for surveillance, in violation of our existing policies; we want to be sure everyone understands the underlying policy and how to comply," said Rob Sherman, deputy chief privacy officer at Facebook.

The changes mean companies will no longer be able to make tools that track protests, gather names or conduct other monitoring activities on Facebook and Instagram.

Although the changes were welcome, technology companies there is more work to be done to protect communities of color from social media spying, censorship and harassment.

Of course, don't forget that the entire online advertising system is based on data collected by web users' online habits, but most of the times with their "consent", since accepting the privacy rules for each service is required in order people to actually be allowed to use those services.

Twitter last year also blocked law enforcement, intelligence services and developers from gleaning surveillance information from tweets.

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