- Meta Platforms sues Voyager Labs for scraping data from 600,000 users through fake social media accounts.
- The company is requesting a permanent ban on Voyager from Facebook and Instagram and for Voyager to be charged with sustained damages.
- Voyager targeted non-profit organizations, media, universities, military, healthcare, government, and vulnerable groups.
Meta Platforms, an American multinational technology group, has filed a lawsuit in the United States against AI-based investigators, Voyager Labs, for creating thousands of fake Facebook and Instagram accounts in an attempt to scrape data from more than 600,000 users, according to a media report on Friday.
The technology conglomerate claimed that Voyager masked its illegal activity by using surveillance software to pull users’ information from their social media posts, friends/followers list, photos, likes, and comments, along with other groups and pages. Furthermore, the company alleged that Voyager scraped data from YouTube, LinkedIn, and Telegram in order to gain profits.
Meta has urged the judge to impose a permanent ban on Voyager from Facebook and Instagram, and to charge the accused company with sustained damages, including the investigation costs, an amount to be proven at trial. The company stated that Voyager's actions are in violation of users' privacy rights and civil liberties, and that its illegal data scraping is likely to support criminal behavior.
Meta highlighted that Voyager had targeted its users belonging to non-profit organizations, news media organizations, universities, the armed forces of the United States, healthcare facilities, local, state and federal government agencies, and non-working parents, retirees and union members. These groups are considered vulnerable, and their personal information can be used for malicious purposes.
In response to this matter, Jessica Romero, Meta's director of platform enforcement and litigation wrote, "The company has secretly collected its user’s information surrounding its family, friends and community without respecting their civil rights. Voyager’s actions are a gross violation of privacy and civil liberties, and we will not stand idly by while they profit from this illegal activity."
Meanwhile, Meta needs to implement action against the data scraping issue as the company has faced data discrepancies in the past as well. With this lawsuit, they hope to set a precedent and send a message to other companies that engage in similar practices that they will be held accountable for their actions.