Meta is taking legal action against two prolific data scrapers. company on Tuesday Against a company called Octopus and a person named Ekrem Ateş. According to Meta, the former is the US subsidiary of a multinational Chinese tech firm that offers rental data scraping services to individuals and companies.
Octopus also sells software that people can use to run their own data collection campaigns. According to Meta, this program first compromises the user’s Facebook and Instagram accounts by providing Octopus with authentication credentials before it starts scraping all data accessible to that person’s accounts. The software can then retrieve phone numbers, birth dates and other personal information about each Facebook and Instagram friend connected to a particular Octopus client. Meta claims that Octopus violated their terms of service and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by offering an automated scraping service and trying to avoid detection by the company.
“Companies like Octopus are part of an emerging scraping industry that offers automation services to any client, regardless of whom they target and for what purpose,” Meta said. “This industry makes scraping available to individuals and companies that would otherwise not have the skills.”
As for Ekrem Ateş, who sued Meta, the company said it used automated Instagram accounts to gather information about over 350,000 Instagram users and then posted that data on a number of news sites. where these people can view their data without their consent. Meta said it has taken multiple enforcement actions against Ates since the start of 2021, including sending a cease and desist letter and revoking its access to the services. This isn’t the first time Meta has taken legal action to try and stop data scraping. For example, in 2020, the company sued a Turkish citizen who had scraped more than 000.
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