Meta Ends Lawsuit Against Data Scraping Company

Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, recently decided to end its legal battle with Bright Data, a company from Israel known for collecting data from websites. Meta had accused Bright Data of taking information from its platforms without permission. This case was part of Meta's ongoing effort to stop companies from scraping, which means collecting large amounts of data from websites automatically.

The court, however, did not side with Meta on a key part of the lawsuit. It said Meta didn't prove that Bright Data took private data that wasn't supposed to be public. Because of this, Meta chose to drop the lawsuit instead of continuing the fight.

What made this case interesting was that Meta and Bright Data had worked together before. Meta had used Bright Data's services to gather data from online stores to help with its advertising. But when Bright Data started taking data from Meta's sites, Meta sued them.

The court's decision focused on whether the data Bright Data took was public or private. Meta showed the court a huge amount of Instagram data Bright Data had sold, but the court wasn't convinced this data was private. Meta also tried to show that Bright Data had access to private information, but the court found these examples unconvincing.

The court also disagreed with Meta's view on how Bright Data collected the data. It said using automated tools to get around website restrictions wasn't the same as breaking into a protected account.

Meta tried to argue that Bright Data used special tools and its own social media accounts to take the data, but the court found no evidence to support this claim. After losing a key part of the case, Meta announced it was thinking about what to do next.

Then, on February 23, 2024, Meta asked the court to close the case. It gave up on its last claim and decided not to appeal the decision that was in favor of Bright Data.

This outcome is unusual for Meta, which usually wins such cases. It has successfully stopped other companies from scraping its sites in the past. But this time, Bright Data said it didn't settle with Meta and won't change how it operates. The company sees this as a big win for itself and others who collect public data from websites.

Bright Data's CEO, Or Lenchner, said this decision supports their right to access public information on the web. He believes the internet should be open for everyone and no single company should control it.

Meta has not commented on the decision to end the lawsuit. This case was one of many where Meta has tried to protect its data from being taken and used by others without permission.

Meta ends legal battle with Bright Data as court finds insufficient evidence of data privacy violation.

Image: DIW - AIgen

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