Facebook Warns Developers Against Siphoning User Data For Surveillance Purposes
The usefulness of social networks is undeniable, but the convenience of sharing our daily lives should also be met with some caution. If our data is so easy to find for a regular person, it's going to be an absolute cinch for a bot or nefarious parties.
Worrying about having your data siphoned is fairly common and indeed it has happened in various recent report. We're sure it will continue to happen to some degree, regardless systems these networks put into place. Regardless, Facebook has made it known that it is doing all it can to protect the data of its users, resulting in an update to its policies.
In a post, Facebook notes that over the past couple of years, it has made some big changes to its policies, so as to outright ban the use of payday loan ads, and to prohibit companies from being able to use your data for the purpose of evaluating a loan application. Next, it is adding language to prevent anyone from using your data for the sake of surveillance services.
Facebook says that it has already dealt with developers that were promoting surveillance tools using the information readily found on the service. In effect, even if your data is public, it would effectively be protected by this policy.
To heighten the effectiveness of these updated policies, Facebook worked with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Media Justice, and Color of Change. Malkia Cyril, Executive Director and Founder of the Center for Media Justice, noted, "When technology companies allow their platforms and devices to be used to conduct mass surveillance of activists and other targeted communities, it chills democratic dissent and gives authoritarianism a license to thrive."
That is so true, and a great reason for Facebook to take this matter seriously. We hope other companies follow-suit, if their policies are not already up to par.