Facebook Sues Developers for Privacy Violations, Fake Likes

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Facebook has just announced its plans to sue multiple developers in the United States and the United Kingdom for violating its privacy policies. In separate suits, the company is also suing an individual for selling fake engagement.

The social media company has been clamping down on malicious parties since the Cambridge Analytica issue which compromised 87 million users’ data, reported Tech Crunch.

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Following this scandal, Facebook has been implementing more protective measures regarding access to data and punitive actions to developers who violate its policies. This includes the Platform Terms and Developer Policies built to guarantee compliance from developers.

Facebook Sues Developers for Privacy Violations

The lawsuits are filed against MobiBurn, a company that organizes, processes, and delivers data sets to the right receiver. Its parent company OakSmart Technologies and founder Fatih Haltas were also included in the suit filed in the High Court of Justice.

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The two companies and founders are sued by Facebook Inc. and Facebook Ireland for “failing to comply with Facebook’s audit request” after researchers found that MobiBurn has been using malicious software to gather Facebook user data.

This came following Facebook’s investigation of MobiBurn’s use of the Software Development Kit (SDK) for harvesting data. As per the firm’s website, it has discontinued the use of SDK as of November 2019.

The suit seeks an injunction against the firm. The social media firm also seeks “the ability to audit the company’s systems,” a disclosure of the data it access, payments MobiBurn paid to developers, and those it received, as well as damages and “other relief.”

Facebook Inc. and Instagram Inc. also sued Nikolay Holper for operating a fake engagement service which “distributed fake likes, comments, views, and followers on Instagram.” Holper used various websites to sell its fake engagement service.

Holper’s service had previously been shut down and received a cease and desist letter complete with a warning regarding his violations.

Facebook has been cracking down on fake engagements. IN 2019, the company was able to shut down a follower-buying service based in New Zealand. Instagram was also able to disable 17 accounts involved in selling fake engagements.

Nevertheless, users have continued to use inauthentic ways to grow their following through “pods” and other similar practices. “Pods” allow users to coordinate the systematic liking and commenting on participants’ posts.

Facebook remains adamant about its decision saying, “Today’s actions are the latest in our efforts to protect people who use our services, hold those who abuse out platform accountable, and advance the state of the law around data misuse and privacy.”

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