Facebook sues South Korean analytics firm for misuse of data

Agencia EFE Seoul, South Korea May 11, 2019, 04.28 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Rankwave ran applications on the Facebook platform which have since been suspended by the social media company.

Facebook has sued South Korean data analytics company, Rankwave, for allegedly misusing data in its advertising and marketing services, the social media giant said in a statement.

Rankwave ran applications on the Facebook platform which have since been suspended by the social media company.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in a court in California, US, Jessica Romero, the director of litigation and compliance of the platform said in a statement.

"Facebook was investigating Rankwave’s data practices in relation to its advertising and marketing services. Rankwave failed to cooperate with our efforts to verify their compliance with our policies, which we require of all developers using our platform," Romero said.

The American company suspects that Rankwave could have used user data collected through its applications for its own commercial purposes.

"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," Romero added.

So far, Rankwave has not commented on the lawsuit. 

The case could again tarnish the image of the social network and its security measures on the processing of personal data after data from millions of users was compromised by British data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica for political purposes.

What appeared to be an inoffensive fun app in the form of a personality quiz encouraged millions of users to share data about themselves.

Facebook alleges that Rankwave was slurping up user data based on Facebook activity that was then sold on to advertising clients of the South Korean data handling company. 

Facebook's demand against Rankwave was presented the same day that the president and co-founder of the American company, Mark Zuckerberg, met in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, at a time when France is preparing to toughen its legislation on social networks.