According to an American Civil Liberties Union Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are passing data to an observing tool that law enforcement agencies were using to track activists. Posts from the social media networks are been harvested for surveillance purpose by the social media analysis tool dubbed Geofeedia. The ACLU said on Thursday that more than 500 law enforcement agencies are using it. GeoFeedia has an arrangement with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for their user data was uncovered through a public record request.
Protests in Ferguson, Missouri, involving the 2014 police shooting death of Mike Brown were been tracked by the Geofeedia. Impact on the community of color is the main concern of the ACLU while monitoring activist and their neighborhoods. An interactive map was present inside Geofeedia that shows the real-time Instagram posts including the user location.
ACLU mentioned in a statement that these records exposed the fast increase of social media surveillance. After learning about the tools activity Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have all severed access to Geofeedia. Facebook said that only data that was made public by users could be accessed by this tool. Its data being used in a search engine without permission is prohibited by a policy from the company which also owns Instagram.