back to article Meta accuses data scrapers of taking more than their share

Facebook parent Meta openly collects data from its billions of users, but when other companies scrape said data, it can be a problem, judging by a pair of lawsuits filed today. Jessica Romero, Meta's Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, said the US tech giant has kicked off two federal lawsuits: one against …

  1. steviebuk Silver badge


    Its up to Facecloth to protect the data from scrapping. If its available on the web then surely tough tits.

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Surely

      Didn't the Linked-In case resolve this in favor of the scrapers?

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    What about the data that facebook collects ...

    on non facebook users - people who have not agreed to facebook taking their information ?

    1. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: What about the data that facebook collects ...

      @alain Williams To me this is very much pot, kettle on the part of Facebook. Facebook scrape the contact details of non-Facebook users from the contacts of Facebook’s users. Octopuses scrapes Facebook data visible to a Facebook user.

      I see no difference between Facebook users giving Facebook permission to scrape their contacts. From Facebook users giving Octopuses permission to scrape data visible to their Facebook account.

      If a Facebook user can give permission for Facebook to scrape non-users data from their contacts, they can surely give Octopuses permission to scrap Facebook data from their Facebook accounts.

      "According to Romero, users self-compromised their accounts when signing up for Octopus's services by handing login credentials over to the company. Octoparse was designed "to scrape data accessible to the user when logged into their accounts.""

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: What about the data that facebook collects ...

        Simply put, farcebook have beellions to spend on lawyers saying all the data is theirs and anyone else can't have it and has to pay them to use it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about the data that facebook collects ...

      But you can always sign up to FB, et al, just so you can opt-out... erm...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Suckerberg's attitude

    Via Animal house:

    Otter: "He can't do that to our pledges!"

    Boon: "Only we can do that to our pledges."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All your harvested data ...

    ... are belong to Facebook.

  5. John69

    Can a web crawler agree to TOS?

    If the web site has terms of service that one agrees to to use the site, and a web crawler uses the site, has anyone agreed to the TOS? My understanding is that only persons can form contracts, and web crawlers are not persons.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Can a web crawler agree to TOS?

      The person who turned the web crawler on agreed to the TOS as the web crawler is acting on their behalf. It's no different from using some accessibility software to click the agree button on a TOS.

      1. John69

        Re: Can a web crawler agree to TOS?

        I am not convinced. If the person never visits the site, never sees the TOS, never clicks on "I agree" how do they legally agree to the terms?

      2. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: Can a web crawler agree to TOS?

        @SpazturtleIn Octopuses's case they did not agree to the TOS as they did not sign up to Facebook, the owner of the account did. The account owner gave the account login details to Octopuses and permission for Octopuses to scrape.

        So the only person breaking the TOS is the Facebook account holder.

  6. Kevin Johnston

    Such Honesty

    I see a big future for Ateş with his ironically honest website MyStalk...the 'whatever-gen-we-are-up-to' tweenagers will find that hilarious and sign up immediately

  7. MOH

    Look in the mirror

    "Part of the problem with companies like Octopus, Romero argued, is that they provide automated scraping services to anyone, regardless of who they may be targeting, or why, and – crucially – without permission from the source site."

    Says the company which provides a platform for anyone to spam any kind of content, regardless of who they might be targeting, or why.

    And harvests data about anyone - crucially - frequently without permission from the individual.

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