The firm, Crimson Hexagon, boasts an impressive list of blue chip clients and claims to have collected more than 1tn public social media posts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sources.
Facebook said Friday that it has suspended Boston-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon while it investigates how it collects and shares the site and Instagram's user data.
News of the suspension comes after The Wall Street Journal queried Crimson Hexagon's contracts with United States government agencies and a Russian non-profit with links to the Kremlin.
He added: "To be abundantly clear: What Cambridge Analytica did was explicitly illegal, while the collection of public data is completely legal and sanctioned by the data providers that Crimson engages with, including Twitter and Facebook, among others". The social network is under investigation by three federal agencies over its links with Cambridge Analytica, and, since the crisis erupted, Facebook has suspended more than 200 apps that had access to its data.
On Friday, however, Bingham said his company is fully cooperating with Facebook and "working together to resolve the issue as quickly as possible".
Facebook responded to a firestorm of criticism earlier this year when it was revealed that another firm, Cambridge Analytica, had obtained the personal information of tens of millions of users without their knowledge or consent. "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".
A spokeswoman for King referred questions to Crimson Hexagon and provided a statement in which King, who is also the chairman of the company's board, said he "never had line authority or day-to-day involvement" in its operations.
Users of Crimson Hexagon's platform, which include government customers, analyze the data to understand large-scale consumer trends and preferences, Bingham wrote.
In March 2017, Facebook prohibited user data being used for government surveillance following pressure from civil liberties groups concerned about the targeting of dissidents and protesters.
Chris Bingham, Crimson Hexagon's chief technology officer, said in a statement earlier this week, the Journal reported, that it abides by the policies of its social-media partners and the company does not collect private data. The company's customers include Adidas, BBC, General Motors, Samsung and Twitter and Walmart.
He said developers were allowed to "use public or aggregated information to produce anonymised insights for business purpose".
The situation with Crimson Hexagon comes after revelations about info on up to 87 million Facebook users may have been improperly sold via a third-party researcher with Cambridge Analytica, a firm that worked for Donald Trump's 2016 USA presidential campaign to target Facebook users. "Facebook has a responsibility to help protect people's information".