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Facebook suspends analytics firm Crimson Hexagon for potential misuse of user data

Facebook has suspended another analytics firm that harvested data from its site and said it was investigating whether the firm’s contracts with the U.S. government and a Russian nonprofit tied to Moscow violate the platform’s policies. Crimson Hexagon has for years used the platform to gather data from public posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to collate and analyze data for its clients, which are spread out in Russia, the US, the UK and Turkey. Facebook reportedly did not have the full measure of the amount and kind of data being harvested by the firm, and had not evaluated the government contracts before they took effect. Facebook has ever since announced that it is suspending the firm's account and operations on Facebook and Instagram, and will launch an investigation into how Crimson Hexagon collects, shares and stores user data. “Facebook has a responsibility to help protect people’s information, which is one of the reasons why we have tightened” access to user data in many ways in recent years, said Ime Archibong, Facebook vice president for product partnerships, in a statement. Archibong said that Facebook allows outside parties to produce “anonymized insights for business purposes" but prohibits data use for surveillance purposes. Crimson Hexagon meanwhile has announced that it uses only publicly available data, abides by the policies of its social-media partners and doesn’t collect private data. It is true that the firm pulls only publicly-available data from Facebook and Twitter. However, it appears at least once to have mistakenly received…

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