Meta Sues Surveillance Company Who Collected Data Of 6 Lakh Users Using Fake Profiles

Meta claimed that it had disabled Voyager's accounts, brought this lawsuit to enforce their terms and policies

Voyager Labs' use of phoney accounts to gather user data has led Meta to declare that it is pursuing legal action to remove the company from its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram. In the US, the company has launched a lawsuit against Voyager Labs.

Today, Meta filed a lawsuit against Voyager Labs in a federal court in California to protest a scraping-for-hire service. An illegal data collection operation called Voyager Labs scraped information from Facebook, Instagram, and other websites.

In a blog post, the company claimed that it had disabled Voyager's accounts, brought this lawsuit to enforce their terms and policies, and requested a court order banning the company from using Facebook and Instagram.

According to the lawsuit filed in federal court in California, Voyager Labs set up and ran more than 38,000 fictitious Facebook accounts in order to gather data from more than 600,000 Facebook users. Posts, likes, friends lists, images, comments, and details from groups and pages were all part of the data.

Additionally, Meta claims that it learned of the information in July 2022 and that Voyager allegedly employed surveillance tools to harvest information from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Telegram.

"Scraping" is an automated procedure in which a piece of software analyses a web page and gathers data from it.

According to Meta, Voyager Labs created and employed exclusive software to start scraping operations against several social media platforms.

Its software was created to exploit fictitious accounts to scrape information that a user might access while logged into Facebook.

"Voyager employed a varied set of computers and networks in several nations to conceal its activity, even when Meta put the fictitious accounts through checks or verifications. It used phoney identities to scrape publicly available information rather than compromising Facebook, Meta continued.

In its Terms of Service, Voyager is prohibited from using phoney accounts or engaging in automated or unauthorised scraping, according to Meta. It wants to permanently enjoin Voyager from doing something.

Companies like Voyager are a part of a sector that offers scraping services to anyone, regardless of the consumers they target or the purposes for which they are used, including the creation of criminal behaviour profiles.

Without monitoring or accountability, this industry secretly gathers information that people voluntarily share with their friends, family, and community in a way that can jeopardise people's civil rights. Meta mentions in its statement.

After these businesses agreed to stop "using and scraping Facebook and Instagram," Meta and BrandTotal reached a settlement in a dispute involving scraping in September 2022.

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