Last week I mentioned on PHS that “In the last few days, quite a ruckus is starting to brew, especially for those in the Seattle area, although those in Denver and other cities are also waking up mad” about the fact that 500 police departments were using a tool called Geofeedia to suck up all social media posts from a location and put them into a searchable database so cops can track protests and other events, some having to do with political dissent. it can also track individual activists, their locations, etc. (Obviously this only applies to activists who are using social media, live-tweeting events, etc., so….)
Now, the ACLU has busted all of them in a report that shows not only were the cops using it as a tool for tracking events, the product was marketed as being fantastic for searchability, using hashtags and keywords. The various social media companies are scrambling to show that they’ve either cut off access, or that they already did before they got caught. Twitter even used the phrase “cease and desist,” which is amusing since these companies are suddenly acting like they didn’t give access and are shocked–shocked–that it was even going on. Too bad the ACLU has the emails, which are entertaining and terrifying all at once.
Naked Security points out that Geofeedia had this level of access for FIVE YEARS. What do you think five years of the average person’s Facebook posts, likes, photos and comments tell you about them? Think about it.
One last thing. If you’re shrugging your shoulders and thinking, “Well, good thing THAT got fixed,” then you haven’t been paying attention at all.