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Meta sues surveillance company over fake profiles

Meta accuses the company Voyager Labs of using fake accounts to spy on data on the social networks Facebook and Instagram. The world-famous tech company has since filed a lawsuit to that effect.

Meta fights against data surveillance

It seems quite a bit bizarre, which is to be negotiated soon already at a federal court in the US state of California. Tech company Meta, which with Instagram and Facebook unites the world’s best-known social networks, is accusing surveillance company Voyager Labs of data espionage. The company is said to have created more than 38,000 fake accounts. In view of Meta’s ambivalent relationship to the data security of its “customers”, this may surprise some people. However, the excitement makes sense when you consider what the tech company mainly does to earn money – with advertising. And user data plays a decisive role in this. After all, they make it possible to play out targeted advertising that brings in a lot of money.

Data of more than 600,000 Meta users affected

Voyager Labs sifted through the data of more than 600,000 users on Facebook in its data theft, which experts like to call “scraping.” Considering the short period of three months in which the company is said to have tapped the data, that is quite a house number. With its actions, the company has clearly violated the terms of use, according to Meta. In order to rule out a repetition in the future, Meta is therefore demanding that Voyager Labs be banned from using Instagram and Facebook in the future. And this is where the lawsuit comes into play. On top of that, it also includes a substantial penalty payment to the tech company. Meta still wants to calculate how high the damages should be.

Police support

But what is Voyager Labs using the data for anyway? Advertising is presumably not the company’s main focus. Rather, the surveillance company helps fight crime, in part. Even the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has already called for help in the past. In practice, this means that Facebook, Instagram and other social networks are scanned. With the help of targeted scraping with the aid of artificial intelligence, potential perpetrators can then be located. Of course, this approach is a thorn in the side of Meta in general and Facebook in particular. After all, it not only ensures that valuable data is mined. On top of that, it is likely to be a massive negative advertisement, since many users are simply afraid of further use.

Accordingly, Facebook also expressed its annoyance to the LAPD. With the help of Voyager Labs and other software tools, the LAPD collected data from the social network in the fall of 2021. Fake profiles were also used at that time. According to Meta itself, however, it is not primarily the actions of the police authority that are a problem. Rather, the tech company fears that Voyager Labs and other providers are covertly tapping sensitive data for third parties who can simply afford it. Facebook’s parent company sees this as a massive misuse of data, but also of its own platform. After all, it is not there to be screened with the help of fake profiles. We are curious to see how the federal court in California will rule when the issue is heard in court.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Meta accuses the company Voyager Labs of using fake accounts to spy on data on the social networks Facebook and Instagram. The world-famous tech company has since filed a lawsuit to that effect. Meta fights against data surveillance It seems quite a bit bizarre, which is to be negotiated soon already at a federal court … (Weiterlesen...)

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