Facebook files lawsuit against several erring developers

Social networking giant Facebook sues several of its developers over allegations of illegally collecting user data and selling likes.

Facebook says that it is suing several developers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The social media giant claims that these developers violated its terms and policies.

The issue arises from allegations that these developers are illegally collecting user data. On top of that, some of the developers are also facing accusations of selling fake “likes” on the platform.

Malicious developers

For many years now, the social media giant is on a crusade to track down and eliminate these malicious developers. It first started with the Cambridge Analytica scandal that compromised personal data of more than 87 million users. Since then, the company has implemented various policy changes to make sure that user data and privacy are protected.

As part of its effort, the tech giant adopted the new Developer Policies and Platform terms earlier this year. This highlights the terms and conditions that developers must abide for them to be considered in the platform. This includes allowing the company to audit third-party apps by either remote or physical access to their systems.

One of the developers facing accusations is MobiBurn and its parent company OakSmart Technologies. According to the social media giant, the companies fail to comply with their audit request. Moreover, security researchers also found out that these companies are illegally harvesting user data.

Rumors about the illegal operations in MobiBurn have been circulating in the community since late last year. It appears that MobiBurn’s SDK contains malicious code that illegally harvests user data.

An excerpt of Facebook’s announcement reads:

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

Data and user privacy

Tech giants are facing a lot of heat over allegations of violating user privacy. Companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are facing allegations of collecting user data.
Most of the data collected from users is usually sold to advertisement companies. By sifting through user data, ad companies can create a tailored advertisement specific for a particular user. Although this does not pose any direct harm to users, it is a clear violation of user and data privacy.

Facebook is adamant in cracking down malicious developers on its platform. The company wants to provide a platform that respects user privacy.

Featured image courtesy of Chinnapong/Shutterstock

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