Meta Sues Chinese Company for setting up automated account to data-scraping from Facebook and Instagram
Meta sues Chinese tech company’s US subsidiary for offering data-scraping service for Face and Instagram. Social Network giant Facebook’s parent company Meta accusing an alleges, set up an automated Instagram to perform data-scraping for almost 350,000 Instagram users.
Case filed in US District Court (Northern District of California), it is not a new thing when it comes to web-scrapers; there been a massive number of automated tools available for Facebook and Instagram to gather en-masse from websites.
“We are seeking a permanent injunction against Octopus,” said Meta.
Recently, Web-scraping has been legal in the US, which comes after three months of US Court reaffirmation. Furthermore, it does not come under any Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In the past, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has done a legal battle with HiQ Labs (a Data science company). HiQ Labs uses that data to predict employee attritions.
“Our lawsuit alleges that Octopus has violated our Terms of Service and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by engaging in unauthorized and automated scraping and attempting to conceal their scraping and avoid being detected and blocked from Facebook and Instagram,” Meta
There are many people who rely on web-scraping, which includes archivist, researchers, and journalist, and other who strongly rely on scraping public data. Not to mention, it is also a significant concern when it comes to legitimate privacy and security.
Meta has sued both Octopus Data (Owned by Shenzhen Vision information Technology Co.) and a Turkish individual, pursuing with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) from Meta Section 3 of its Terms and Service instead of CFAA. They were capable of mining the internet for insight, offering numerous services for Twitter, eBay, Yelp, Google, Target, Walmart, Indeed, LinkedIn, YouTube, LinkedIn, and much more.
“Octopus designed the software to scrape data accessible to the user when logged into their accounts, including data about their Facebook Friends such as email address, phone number, gender and date of birth, as well as Instagram followers and engagement information such as name, user profile URL, location and number of likes and comments per post,” Meta Say’s
Octopus claims to 1Million Customers and has access to software to scrap any website from a cloud-based platform. The data they collected from the Facebook Friends once logged in were Email address, Phone Number, Gender, Date of Birth, name, Profile URL, and the total number of Likes and comments.
Since we do not know how this data will be used and the publicly available data can be used to harm another person without their consent. Meta has tracked over 100 different Instagram clones of those published scrapped data websites.
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