Facebook has announced a policy update that more clearly forbids developers from using the social network as a way to get data for surveillance tools. The policy update applies to both Facebook and Instagram, with the company saying its goal ‘is to make our policy explicit.’ That’s not to say that such use of Facebook data was acceptable before; rather, Facebook is updating the language of its policies to make sure ‘everyone understands.’
Facebook announced the policy updates on its Facebook U.S. Public Policy account this morning, saying its goal is to provide ‘a community where people can feel safe making their voices heard.’ A big part of feeling safe online, of course, is addressing concerns about surveillance or the use of one’s data for such purposes, a hot topic as of late.
Putting it frankly, the policy states that devs can’t ‘use data obtained from [Facebook or Instagram] to provide tools that are used for surveillance.’ The company says it has been enforcing this policy for several months.
Facebook goes on state that it received help on making this update over the last several months from multiple organizations, including Color of Change, the ACLU, and the Center for Media Justice. This is only the latest of multiple policy language updates made by Facebook; it recently, for example, made an update that expressly forbids discriminatory advertising, among other things.