November 23, 2016 - By Ruchi Gupta · 0 Comments
Companies, which violate its terms of service in employing its data, stand to be punished. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) says that in its expansion and acceleration efforts, it will cordon any surveillance or other activities that are not taking in the rules of generating data. So expect to see a real war on Twitter against firms misusing data. Apparently, the social network is under inquiry over how third party data companies use its “firehose,” the massive stream of real-time data.
Geofeedia is among the many companies that are in the limelight. The Chicago data services company is alleged to play a role in helping law enforcement surveil protesters. It is used by more than 13 law enforcement agencies in California. As a lost of this, it has lost its ties with Twitter prompting it to lay off 31 of its roughly 60 employees and particularly from its Chicago sales office.
Twitter against firms misusing data seems like a welcomed move, in particular by the Civil rights and privacy advocates. They claim that the likes of Geofeedia are in violation of the right to free speech, an act that primarily affects minority communities and more so those who speak against brutality by police.
While Twitter, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and Instagram may have provided Geofeedia with a special access to their user data, the company has misused the privilege. Surprisingly, records from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) indicate that Geofeedia and Snaptrends have been marketing social media monitoring tools to police departments and authoritarian regimes. Given that the devices can draw on location signals and other data, it enabled the law enforcers to identify protestors and rebels.
The recent stories about surveillance have caused panic among Twitter users. However, the social network has taken up to expand its enforcement and compliance efforts. For example, it will be adding more resources to facilitate swift investigation of complaints.
But what happens to Geofeedia? A statement from the company reads, “Following these suspensions, we have decided to scale back our business and focus on a variety of innovations that will allow us to serve our customers and continue our rapid growth trajectory as a leading real-time analytics and alerting platform.”
Obviously, it remains to be seen how true this. After all the Twitter against firms misusing data measures will still apply.
Twitter’s stock closed at $18.63 witnessing an increase of $0.03 or 0.16%.
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By Ruchi Gupta