NEWS23 July 2018

Facebook investigating Crimson Hexagon

Data analytics News North America Privacy Technology

US – Facebook has suspended social media insights firm Crimson Hexagon from its platform as it investigates concerns around the collection of user data.

Facebook on phone

Facebook said it was looking into whether Crimson Hexagon’s contracts with the US government and a Russian non-profit organisation are in breach of the social network’s policies, following a query raised by the Wall Street Journal.

A Facebook spokesperson said: "We are investigating the claims about Crimson Hexagon to see if they violated any of our policies. Based on our investigation to date, Crimson Hexagon did not obtain any Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately. They are cooperating and our teams will meet this week to investigate further." 

Chris Bingham, CTO at Crimson Hexagon, said: "Crimson Hexagon is fully cooperating with Facebook and working together to resolve the issue as quickly as possible."

In a blog post on Friday ( 20 July), Crimson Hexagon explained how it approaches social media collection but did not address the Facebook investigation directly.

The company said that it only collects data that is publicly available and accessible by anyone on social media platforms, and not private social media data.

"Crimson Hexagon’s data partners, like Twitter and Facebook, have policies in place that limit the ways in which certain entities can use their data irrespective of whether the data is public or private. Crimson Hexagon abides completely by those policies, and restricts access to its platform accordingly," the post said.

Crimson Hexagon said government contracts comprise a small part of its customer base, and that it routinely vets potential government customers and declines those whose use cases would violate data partners’ policies.