Facebook Sues Marketing Firms Over Stealing User Data From It And Other Tech Giants

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) on Thursday filed a lawsuit against two companies for allegedly harvesting data from its users in an unauthorized fashion in the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo.

What Happened: The Mark Zuckerberg-led company said in a statement the two companies scraped data from Facebook and Instagram.

The scraping operation also affected platforms run by Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) LinkedIn, Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube, as per Facebook.

The Menlo Park-based social network giant said that the two companies — Israel-based BrandTotal Ltd and Delaware-incorporated Unimania Inc — allegedly took to scraping the web portals in order to sell marketing intelligence and other services.

Why It Matters: Scraping refers to data collection through unauthorized automation that targets a website or an app.

The social media behemoth said that the two companies purportedly used browser extensions that collected data when users accessed Facebook’s websites and gathered information like name, user ID, gender, date of birth, location.

In 2016, British firm Cambridge Analytica scraped data of millions of Facebook users in order to influence voters in the U.S. and elsewhere.

In March this year, Australia sued the tech giant for another similar Cambridge Analytica data breach affecting more than 300,000 of its citizens between 2014 and 2015.

Facebook started to pursue legal action against scrapers and others that break its terms of service after the scandals involving the British firm came to light, TechCrunch reported separately.

Price Action: Facebook shares closed nearly 1.8% higher at $266.63 on Thursday.

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