The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a Chicago-based company which is responsible for the current controversy. As per law, the personal details should not be sold to other companies. The data provided by the customers while registering is of highly personal. But the social media site Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has broken the faith of its clients. They have sold the data to ACLU which in turn has tie ups with some of the police agencies.
On the one hand this is very useful for tracking the criminal record persons, but on the other hand, it is a major breach of trust of its customers. The data selling for ACLU is also a crime as per the existing California law enforcement agencies.
Geofeedia confirmed the payment to twitter’s ‘firehose’ which is the only social media monitoring tool that has a partnership with Instagram. The payment made to attain the date from the social media site. In turn, the same data has been forwarded to a police agency. This copy was in the format of a PDF. However, the same attained by the ACLU while making the data sale issue public.
Immediately, Twitter has tweeted that suspended the access for Geofeedia. Here is the official tweet; “Based on information in the @ACLU’s report, we are immediately suspending @Geofeedia’s commercial access to twitter data.”
Geofeedia has more than 500 customers which include the Denver Police Department. An annual deal of $30,000 signed between Geofeedia and Denver Police Department. One aspect that is made clear by Geofeedia that is to track criminal suspects and their actions can be useful with the agreement as they post them via social media. Nearly 500 police departments and authorities in Los Angeles are using Geofeedia.
ACLU civil liberties director in California, Mr.Nicole Ozer, has expressed his opinion that the selling would ruin the public policies mentioned by the companies.