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FBI Plans to Monitor Social Media May Spark Privacy Issues

August 13, 2019

The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to intensify its monitoring of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to detect potential threats. But its plans may collide with privacy policies and, potentially, Facebook’s ability to comply with its recent $5 billion settlement with the FTC.

FBI officials are soliciting vendor proposals for a contract that would gather “vast quantities” of publicly available data from social media sites including Facebook and Twitter, The Wall Street Journal reports. While vendors would not be able to access direct messages or other private content, they would collect data including names, user IDs, and photos, which could paint an accurate picture of individuals’ lives when merged with external data and enable a third party to track them online.

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