The government should not have preferred access to social media speech for surveillance purposes, says an ACLU report.
The government should not have preferred access to social media speech for surveillance purposes, says an ACLU report.

Police monitoring activists profiled by color will no longer be able to mine data on Facebook and Twitter using a tool from Geofeedia, according to The Hill.

The social media platforms blocked access to the surveillance tool, which mines social media and location data, following an ACLU report that exposed cooperation with police forces in targeting minorities.

The study, released on Tuesday, “Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Provided Data Access for a Surveillance Product Marketed to Target Activists of Color,” asserts that Geofeedia promoted its tool to assist law enforcement.

"The government should not have preferred access to social media speech for surveillance purposes," the study stated. 

Facebook and Twitter have announced they will sever Geofeedia's access to their data. The block includes Instagram as well, which Facebook owns.  

Police in Oakland, Baltimore and Denver used the tool to monitor protests, particularly those involving minorities.