Meta Can Proceed With Claims That Voyager Labs Scraped Users' Data

Siding with Meta Platforms, a federal judge is allowing the company to proceed with a lawsuit alleging that U.K.-based Voyager Labs -- which provides analytics services to law enforcement -- wrongly scraped data from Facebook users.

In a decision issued Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Araceli Martinez-Olguin essentially said Meta's allegations, if proven true, could support its claims that Voyager violated Facebook's and Instagram's terms of service.

The ruling comes in a battle dating to January 2023, when Meta alleged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that Voyager Labs created 38,000 Facebook accounts, then used those accounts to scrape data from more than 600,000 Facebook users.

Meta contended that Voyager breached its contract with Meta by allegedly violating the social networking platform's terms of service, which prohibit scraping. The company later revised its complaint to add allegations that Voyager violated federal and California anti-hacking laws.



Voyager argued the complaint should be dismissed at an early stage for several reasons. Among others, Voyager said the allegations regarding Facebook's terms of service were too vague.

Meta's complaint “refers to a catchall category of contracts ... but then says nothing more about those alleged contracts, their terms, when they are supposed to have been executed, or why they allegedly bind Voyager UK today,” Voyager argued to Martinez-Olguin in a motion filed in February.

The company also said California courts lacked jurisdiction to decide whether the company violated federal or state anti-hacking laws.

Martinez-Olguin rejected all of Voyager's arguments on Thursday.

She wrote that while Meta's complaint could have set out the company's terms of service “with more clarity,” the allegations sufficiently informed Voyager of the basis for Meta's claim.

She added that other details -- such as whether Voyager “violated all of the terms in effect during the relevant period, some of them, or none of them” -- could be determined at a later date.

The judge also noted that Voyager agreed last year that it wouldn't object to the matter proceeding in California.

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