Breaking News: Meta Sues Hong Kong Based Social Data Trading Ltd. For Its Data Scraping Practices – Privacy | #itsecurity | #infosec

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Breaking News: Meta Sues Hong Kong Based Social Data Trading Ltd. For Its Data Scraping Practices

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has sued Hong Kong based
Social Data Trading Ltd. for scraping data from millions of
Instagram and Facebook profiles.  Meta alleges that after it
blocked Instagram and Facebook access to Social Data Trading, the
company continued to surreptitiously pull profile information from
both websites.   Meta alleges that Social Data Trading
violated the terms of service for both Instagram and Facebook and
that, because of circumventing Meta’s block Social Data
Trading’s use of those websites, defendant also engaged in
illegal hacking under Section 502 of California’s Penal
Code.  Finally, Meta seeks recovery for unjust enrichment, in
addition to its claims for breach of contract and hacking under
Section 502.

The complaint does not contain any claims under 18 U.S.C. §
1030, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). 
This is an issue we are watching closely as, generally speaking,
CFAA no longer supports claims for data scraping that merely
violate a website’s terms of service.  Presently before
the Ninth Circuit, on remand from the Supreme Court, is the
question of whether, once a website revokes permission and takes
technical steps to block access, a subsequent act of scraping a
public website constitutes a violation of CFAA.
  LinkedIn Corp. v. hiQ Labs, Inc., No. 19-1116,
141 S. Ct. 2752, 210 L. Ed. 2d 902, 2021 U.S. LEXIS 2997, 2021 WL
2405144, at *1 (U.S. June 14, 2021).  The Ninth Circuit heard
oral argument on this case in October.  We anticipate a ruling
soon.  As always, watch this space for an update.

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