Meta Is Launching Lawsuits Against Groups That Are Exposing User Data From Facebook and Instagram

Meta is launching lawsuits against two data scraping platforms, which have reportedly exploited both Instagram and Facebook for the purposes of harvesting user data.

Meta telling off another site to quit siphoning off user data from its social media platforms, even as it both does so itself and allows third party advertisers to do the same, is slightly amusing to say the least. It’s almost as if Kettle would benefit from an introduction to Pot. At any rate, clone sites such as the ones that Meta’s currently on the prowl for are still much more dangerous in both scope and audience. These less than scrupulous platforms will often harbor massive amounts of user data, allowing others to access sensitive user data such as addresses or card information for either a small fee or free. This isn’t even the first time that Meta has launched a lawsuit of this nature; the most recent example that comes to mind is from 2021, where the tech giant launched a legal assault against Ekrem Ates from North Carolina. Ates ran a platform named MyStalk (very tasteful) from what I can only assume is his mother’s basement, which held such harvested information. Meta, however, had fun taking it down one lawsuit at a time, and is now apparently setting its sights elsewhere. I know that Zuckerberg’s troupe is absolutely in the right for once, but it’s still fun painting them as mustache twirling villains.

Meta’s current two targets are from rather different geological locations, and are even quite different in nature: the first is a registered Chinese company by the name of Octopus; the second is a one-man operation being run by an individual in Turkey. Octopus specializes in providing information about users that isn’t perhaps the most difficult to obtain, but would still not be public knowledge with regards to private accounts. Birthdays, phones numbers, genders, engagement information, are all available to users for a special fixed price. However, Meta has quite the uphill battle if it wants to win against a Chinese company which also currently operates in the country.

Our Turkish individual set up clone sites, and used them to expose user data to the masses. An estimated 350,000 Facebook and Instagram-frequenting individuals were exposed in the process, with their personal details available to everyone across the inter-webs. I see Meta having relatively more such in Europe; however, even then it’s easy to recall just how much Europe dislikes the US and associated companies.

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