ACLU: US police tracked coloured protesters using FB, Twitter data

File photo of police detaining a man during a civil disobedience march in Ferguson, Missouri last year. Pic/AFP
File photo of police detaining a man during a civil disobedience march in Ferguson, Missouri last year. Pic/AFP

Washington: The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said yesterday that it obtained records pointing to data from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being used by US police to track protesters across the country, especially during the flash points in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland.

The companies weren’t directly involved in handing over data; instead, a social media monitoring service called Geofeedia made it available to more than 500 law enforcement agencies that it claims are clients of its business.

According to the ACLU, the company served up location information as well as feeds of social media posts relating to uprisings, especially the racially motivated ones that targeted African American activists. The ACLU, however, noted that after the revelation, the three social media giants have cut off or pruned Geopedia’s access to their public post streams.

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