Home / Today Tech / Facebook disables accounts for Russian company claiming to sell scraped user data

Facebook disables accounts for Russian company claiming to sell scraped user data

Facebook disabled 66 profiles and pages run by a company claiming to sell user data scraped off the social community’s platform. Facebook additionally despatched a a stop and desist to the company, referred to as Social Data Hub, which Facebook says billed itself because the “Cambridge Analytica of Russia.”

Facebook continues to be investigating the sorts of data Social Data Hub had entry to, Facebook spokesman Matt Steinfeld stated on Thursday. It might vary from data publicly posted on Facebook customers’ profiles to privately posted content material, relying on the strategies Social Data Hub used to scrape the data. 

“Scraping of all kinds continues to be a challenge across the internet,” Facebook stated in an announcement. “Since it’s difficult to prevent and often hard to detect once it’s happened, we will be working more closely with other companies and independent experts to share information so we can more quickly disrupt this activity.”

On its website, Social Data Hub says it has a replica of the “Russian part of Facebook,” in addition to data from different US-based social media websites together with Twitter and Tumbler, and Russian social media websites Odnoklassniki and VKontakte.

In an e-mail, Social Data Hub consultant Artur Khachuyan stated that the company does not scrape data exterior of Russia. “No one just downloaded Facebook profiles, especially the data of citizens of other countries, except Russia,” Khachuyan stated. “In Russia, such work is permitted by federal law No. 152 (this is analogous to the GDPR).”

Khachuyan stated Fubutech, an affiliated enterprise that works with governments, is growing scraping expertise for authorities shoppers, however doesn’t scrape the data itself. Finally, he stated the CEO of Social Data Hub teaches journalism programs that embody utilizing social media data. Some of the deleted Facebook accounts had been from college students who did perform data scraping, Khachuyan stated “but all the data was deleted by them, and the logs were provided on Facebook. We are waiting for the speedy unlocking of our accounts. Unfortunately, we failed to quickly contact the Russian branch of Facebook.”

Steinfeld stated that firms that scrape publicly posted data from Facebook are the toughest for the company to detect, as a result of they do not have to register an account with Facebook to perform their actions. Facebook does have strategies for detecting such firms. Steinfeld declined to talk about the strategies on the file in order that the businesses would not study them within the press.

In the stop and desist, dated Oct. eight, Facebook wrote that “The Social Data Hub website acknowledges that the company uses web scraping to gather data from Facebook and Instagram.”

Steinfeld learn the contents of the stop and desist to CNET.

Facebook additionally wrote, “In an April 2018 press interview you stated that your company collects data without the permission of the end users. You have further publicly stated that Social Data Hub and Fubutech clients include governmental entities, corporations and media outlets. And Facebook has reason to believe your work for the government has included photos from individuals personal social media accounts in order to identify them.”

Facebook stated in its assertion that it expects to discover and take away extra content material from Social Data Hub on its service.

This is a growing story.

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