MASTERCLASSING

Facebook sues South Korean company over data misuse

Tyrone Stewart

Facebook appFacebook has filed a lawsuit against a South Korean company over the alleged unlawful use of data in relation to marketing and advertising. The lawsuit comes following one filed by Facebook against a New Zealand firm last month, where it accused the company of selling fake likes, views, and followers to Instagram users.

This latest case, filed in the California Superior Court in San Mateo County, accuses Rankwave of breach of contract and violation of California law for how it used data from apps to provide consulting services to advertisers and marketing companies, which is prohibited under Facebook’s policies.

Rankwave, a social media analytics firm, is said to have operated no fewer than 30 apps, made up of both consumer and B2B offerings, on Facebook since 2010. The data from some of these apps, which bore similarities to those used by Cambridge Analytica, is alleged to have been used to then provide advertising and marketing services.

As a result of Facebook’s investigation, and a subsequent failure to respond to the social network, it sent Rankwave a cease and desist letter in February for failing to provide proof of compliance with Facebook’s terms and policies.

Facebook has already suspended all the apps and accounts associated with Rankwave.

“Today’s [10 May] suit asks the court to enforce the basic cooperation terms that Rankwave agreed to in exchange for the opportunity to operate apps on the platform,” said Facebook in a blog post. “By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message to developers that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies, including requiring developers to cooperate with us during an investigation.”