Facebook suspends another analytics firm over potential data misuse

Instagram and Facebook apps

Facebook is no doubt keen to let the Cambridge Analytica scandal fade into history, but its problems with third-party companies and data misuse continue. Crimson Hexagon is the latest analytics firm to be suspended by Facebook, pending an investigation into its use of data for "surveillance" purposes.

Exactly what Facebook means by "surveillance" isn't clear, but it seems Crimson Hexagon has questions to answer over how aggressively it's been tracking users on Facebook and Instagram. The company monitors social media sentiment for a roster of blue chip clients, and also has links to platforms like Twitter and Tumblr.

For now it's just a suspension – there's no evidence of wrongdoing yet – but Crimson Hexagon was blocked from the Facebook and Instagram feeds after the Wall Street Journal raised questions about its connections to the US government, a Russian organization linked to the Kremlin, and the Turkish government.

Follow the data

"We don't allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram," said Facebook in a statement, the Guardian reports. "We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate Based on our investigation to date, Crimson Hexagon did not obtain any Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately."

Whatever the outcome of the investigation, it's a data privacy headache that Facebook could do without. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg and his exec team will want to be seen to be being tough on companies that don't follow the rules in regards to harvesting personal information from social media.

"Crimson Hexagon is fully cooperating with Facebook, who has publicly stated its investigation to date has found no wrongdoing." said Crimson Hexagon's Chris Bingham in a statement. The company has also put up a blog post explaining some of its data collection practices, which it says only include public data available to anyone on the web.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.