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Data analytics firm OneAudience sued for improperly accessing user data

According to Facebook, the company paid app developers for installing a malicious Software Development Kit (SDK) in their apps.

Devdiscourse News Desk | San Francisco | Updated: 28-02-2020 07:23 IST | Created: 28-02-2020 07:23 IST
Data analytics firm OneAudience sued for improperly accessing user data
Facebook has filed a federal lawsuit in California court against OneAudience. Image Credit: Flickr

Facebook said Thursday it has filed a federal lawsuit in California court against OneAudience, a New Jersey-based data analytics company for improperly accessing and collecting user data from Facebook and other social media companies.

According to Facebook, the company paid app developers for installing a malicious Software Development Kit (SDK) in their apps. The behavior was first flagged by security researchers as part of the company's Data Abuse Bounty Programme that incentivizes people with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people's data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for scams or political influence.

"This is the latest in our efforts to protect people and increase the accountability of those who abuse the technology industry and users. Through these lawsuits, we will continue sending a message to people trying to abuse our services that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies, including requiring developers to cooperate with us during an investigation, and advance the state of the law when it comes to data misuse and privacy," Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation at Facebook wrote in an official blog post.

Thereafter, enforcement measures were taken against the company that included shutting down the offending apps and an audit request to the company which was declined by OneAudience.

In November 2019, OneAudience said that the data was never intended to be collected, never added to the company's database and never used and that it has updated the SDK to make sure that this information could not be collected further. The company later shut down the oneAudience SDK.

"We believe that consumers should have the opportunity to choose who they share their data with and in what context," OneAudience said in November.

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