Meta Platforms has sued analytics company Voyager Labs, which works with law enforcement, for allegedly scraping data that users posted about themselves.
Voyager “created and used over 38,000 fake Facebook user accounts and its surveillance software to scrape more than 600,000 Facebook users’ viewable profile information, including posts, likes, friends lists, photos, and comments, and information from Facebook Groups and Pages,” Meta alleges in a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Meta adds that on Thursday, it disabled more than 60,000 Facebook and Instagram accounts and pages associated with Voyager Labs, including at least 38,000 fake accounts.
The complaint claims Voyager violated Meta's terms of service, which prohibit fake accounts as well as scraping.
Meta is seeking an injunction requiring Voyager to refrain from scraping, and monetary damages.
The new lawsuit comes several months after U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Spero in San Francisco sided with Meta in a similar lawsuit against analytics company BrandTotal.
Spero ruled in that matter that BrandTotal violated Meta's terms of service by using automated means to collect information about consumers. In that case, BrandTotal had argued that it only collects information from people who enrolled through its platform, and who received compensation.
BrandTotal settled the dispute in September by agreeing to refrain from scraping consumer data, and from using (or selling) data previously collected through automated means. The company will promised to destroy information it previously amassed through its downloadable extension.
Monetary terms were confidential, but a Meta spokesperson said in September that BrandTotal agreed to pay "a significant financial sum."
Analytics company hiQ Labs also agreed recently to settle a separate scraping battle with LinkedIn by paying $500,000 and promising refrain from scraping LinkedIn's data and to destroy data previously collected about the service's users.