Facebook, Twitter block social media surveillance tool

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Three of the biggest social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all Bay Area -based companies, are cutting off access to a company which has been giving user data to police, especially during protests.

The issue is police are using social media to spy on protesters.

The American Civil Liberties Union says police used social media information from a company called Geofeedia to track activists in real-time during recent protests.

Geofeedia provides searchable data from public posts.

The ACLU said Baltimore police used Geofeedia to “stay one step ahead of rioters” after the death of Freddie Gray.

Geofeedia’s CEO said the company has policies to prevent the inappropriate use of its software, including protections related to free speech.

Facebook’s policy states companies can’t sell, license, purchase, transfer, or funnel data into a search engine.

The ACLU said Geofeedia claims there are “over 500 law enforcement and public safety agencies” that use its services.

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