Facebook has updated its terms and conditions today to reflect the company’s stance regarding the use of its data in surveillance. The giant social network is firmly opposed to such uses and has taken action against companies and developers who’ve breached its terms.
Facebook and other social networks have been criticized for the way their data has been used around the world to track people, spy on users and keep an eye on civil movements. For example, it’s well known that police forces used Facebook data to track protesters at civil rights movements in the US.
Facing pressure from users and advocacy groups, the world’s biggest social network has updated its terms and services today. New language bars developers from using “data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance”. The company says it partnered with civil liberties groups like the ACLU of California, Color of Change, and the Center for Media Justice to arrive at todays’ revamped rules.
The social network is following in Twitter’s footsteps on this issue, which took similar measures at the start of the year, though given its massive reach Facebook’s move may prove more impactful. The changes also apply to Facebook-owned Instagram, further lending credence to the company’s stance.
Of course, this won’t really deter those looking to use data in nefarious or unethical ways, but it does give Facebook a better legal footing for taking action against those abusing its systems.