Facebook is aware of various possibilities through which developers can steal their users’ private data. And now, it can even file court cases to deal with such behavior. Few insiders have stated that the tech giant has recently sued two Ukrainian nationals for swiping its users’ private data with the help of deceptive browser add-ons.
The two alleged men identified as Gleb Sluchevsky and Andrey Gorbachov managed to entice the Facebook users through several quizzes like ‘who you are like’ and horoscopes that used the legitimate sign-ins of Facebook and then asked those users to install a particular add-on which would access both private friend list and the information that were available publicly. Instead of providing Facebook’s ads, the duo would show their own ads.
By accessing users’ data without any prior permission, Sluchevsky and Gorbachov have been slapped with the charges of Computer Fraud and Abuses Act mainly. Other charges include fraud and breach of conduct by misleading the social media platform to believe that the duo was above-board. The duo had been carrying out these illegal activities by using fake names. They were finally caught last year during October when Facebook decided to have a deeper look into their browser extensions.
Between 2017 and 2018, these browser plugins managed to get more than 63k infections. Facebook’s bottom line got some small level damages due to this. A Facebook official stated how the company ended up spending over $75k while looking for this intrusion. Although the company has not mentioned specific damages in its lawsuit. However, it would not be surprising if it tries to recoup the expenses.
Such lawsuits would discourage various other intruders or developers from carrying out any such move. However, since Facebook can’t force Gorbachov or Sluchevsky to come to the US and appear for trial, therefore, it would have a limited effect. Facebook has been in the center of many privacy-related scandals in the recently, and there is a slight chance that such lawsuit could tarnish their market image.