From The Verge: Meta has filed a legal complaint against a company for allegedly creating tens of thousands of fake Facebook accounts to scrape user data and provide surveillance services for clients.
The firm, Voyager Labs, bills itself as “a world leader in advanced AI-based investigation solutions.” What this means in practice is analyzing social media posts en masse in order to make claims about individuals. In 2021, for example, The Guardian reported how Voyager Labs sold its services to the Los Angeles Police Department, with the company claiming to predict which individuals were likely to commit crimes in the future.
Meta announced the legal action in a blog post on January 12th, claiming that Voyager Labs violated its terms of service. According to a legal filing issued on November 11th, Meta alleges that Voyager Labs created over 38,000 fake Facebook user accounts and used its surveillance software to gather data from Facebook and Instagram without authorization. Voyager Labs also collected data from sites including Twitter, YouTube, and Telegram.
Meta says Voyager Labs used fake accounts to scrape information from over 600,000 Facebook users between July 2022 and September 2022. Meta says it disabled more than 60,000 Voyager Labs-related Facebook and Instagram accounts and pages “on or about” January 12th.
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