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Facebook suspends Crimson Hexagon to examine possible misuse of data

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Facebook has suspended another analytics company that harvested public data from the platform, in anticipation of a thorough research into the company practices.

Crimson Hexagon, a Boston-based company that produces consumer insights driven by AI, claims to have an archive of more than 1 trillion public social media messages of companies such as Twitter and Facebook.

On Friday, the tech giant said that the suspension of the analytics company from Facebook and Instagram while it affects any violations.

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“We examine the claims about Crimson Hexagon to see if they violated any of our policies,” Ime Archibong, VP of Product nerships for Facebook, said in a statement. “Facebook has a responsibility to help to the information that is one of the reasons why we have tightened our Api’s significantly more than the past few years.”

Chris Bingham, Crimson Hexagon’s chief technology officer, confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the company is working with Facebook the study, and that the two firms are teams already meet.

Facebook is investigating whether another data analytics company improperly accessed users’ information.

(Reuters)

Crimson Hexagon, which pulls publicly available data from users of social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere, lists on its website a series of large companies as customers—including Samsung, the BBC, Walmart and GM. Although Facebook has come under fire in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal, the users may or may not be aware that, unless their settings to “private,” much of what they post, click share on the platform can be seen by the public.

Those posts, likes and tweets, that add up to a large amount of data, can then be used by companies or government agencies try to distinguish a person’s voting preferences or their consumer habits, for example. Post the Cambridge Analytica fallout, many Americans are not aware of how their data will be used for a large number of purposes.

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According to The Magazine, Crimson Hexagon sold its own analytics platform in countries such as Russia and Turkey, and it worked for a non-profit known as the Civil Society Development Foundation to study the Russians ‘ opinion of President Vladimir Putin.

In addition, U.S. government agencies have reportedly paid Crimson Hexagon more than $800,000 for 22 different contracts, including last month with the State Department for a value of $240,000, The Magazine reported.

In a blog post, Bingham emphasized that his company is only access to public data and that “in no case” is the surveillance is a permitted use for the government use of its platform.

Developers are not allowed to build surveillance tools using information from the platform, Facebook confirmed to Fox News. The company has also not yet been found that Crimson Hexagon data obtained wrongly.

Also, there are no allegations of misconduct on the part of the government that ended with Crimson Hexagon.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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