Facebook, the tech giant, has suspended another analytics company during its own investigation into data collection and sharing on the social media platform.
Crimson Hexagon is a company that is based on the United States. It offers “consumer insights” and works with government agencies across the globe.
It was also reported by the Wall Street Journal that the company had contracts “to analyse public Facebook data for clients including a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin and multiple US government agencies.”
The clients of the company also include the likes of Samsung, Adidas, and the BBC. According to the firm’s website, the company works with over one trillion posts from Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to form its insights.
A spokesperson from Facebook, stated: “We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram.”
He added: “We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate.”
The spokesperson continued: “Based on our investigation to date, Crimson Hexagon did not obtain any Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately.”
Last Friday, Crimson Hexagon posted a statement on its blog. However, it failed to directly address the suspension but it did defend its work.
Chris Bingham, chief technology officer of the company wrote: “Crimson Hexagon only collects publicly available social media data that anyone can access.”
He added: “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. To be abundantly clear: What Cambridge Analytica did was explicitly illegal, while the collection of public data is completely legal and sanctioned by the data providers that Crimson engages with, including Twitter and Facebook, among others.”
Bingham concluded: “The real conversation is not about a particular social media analytics provider or even a particular social network like Facebook. It is about the broader role and use of public online data in the modern world.”