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Facebook limits law enforcement data access for surveillance
Police One

The company said they would still cooperate with law enforcement on a case-by-case basis

By PoliceOne Staff

Facebook announced Monday that law enforcement can no longer use data to monitor protesters and certain groups.

The Washington Post reported that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide developers access to users’ public feeds, which has been used in the past to monitor parades, protests, and other large events. 

Last year, the social media sites blocked Geofeedia’s access to the data after an ACLU investigation alleged Geofeedia provided data to law enforcement to track protesters. 

Police officials told the Associated Press that companies like Geofeedia help them protect the public. The services can help find crime witnesses, notify police of potential problems during large events and can give police feedback from the community. 

Facebook specified in their platform policy that developers cannot “use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance.” Although using Facebook’s data for surveillance is blocked, the company said they will still work with law enforcement to solve crimes on a case-by-case basis.

According to the Washington Post, Facebook said they would allow local and federal police agencies to monitor feeds during national disasters and emergencies.