Facebook has suspended Crimson Hexagon, a company that generates consumer insights from public social media posts, while the social media giant evaluates whether the data collection firm violated Facebook policies.
According to a Wall Street Journal article last week, Facebook is specifically looking into contracts that Boston-based Crimson Hexagon entered into with both the US government and a Russian nonprofit associated with the Kremlin. Citing more than a dozen sources, the WSJ noted that Facebook did not approve the government contracts in advance, and has historically had little oversight as to how Crimson Hexagon uses data once its pulled from the social media platform.
Facebook suspended both Crimson Hexagon's apps, as well as its Instagram unit last Friday, while commencing an investigation into how the company collects, shares, and stores user data, the report continues.
Beset by a string of recent controversies, Facebook is trying to restore its reputation following the discovery that the company had been sharing user information with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica scandal, which used that data to help sway voter opinions.
"Facebook has a responsibility to help protect people's information, which is one of the reasons why we have tightened" access to user data in many ways in recent years, said Ime Archibong, Facebook vice president for product partnerships, in a statement quoted in the WSJ article.
Meanwhile, the WSJ reports that Crimson Hexagon CTO Chris Bingham said in a statement that it honours the policies of its business partners, that it only collects publicly available data, and that it is working with Facebook "to resolve the issue as quickly as possible."