Facebook Brings Suit against Mobile Marketing Firm for Siphoning User Data without Authorization

15 09 2020

Proskauer Lex Blog: Media and Technology Blog

In continuing its push to enforce its terms and policies against developers that engage in unauthorized collection or scraping of user data, Facebook brought suit last month against mobile marketing and data analytics firm OneAudience LLC. (Facebook, Inc. v. OneAudience LLC, No. 20-01461 (N.D. Cal. Complaint filed Feb. 27, 2020)). Facebook alleges that OneAudience harvested Facebook users’ profile data and device data in contravention of Facebook’s terms and developer policies. OneAudience purportedly gathered this data by paying app developers to bundle OneAudience’s software development kit (SDK) into their apps and then harvesting data for those users that logged into those apps via Facebook credentials.

Facebook users, including developers and page administrators, are required to assent to Facebook’s terms and various platform policies when a Facebook account is created. According to Facebook’s Complaint, . . .

In its Complaint, Facebook alleged that around September 2019, OneAudience offered to pay app developers to bundle its SDK into their apps. The SDK allegedly allowed OneAudience to collect data about users’ devices and their Facebook (and some other social media) accounts in instances where the user logged into the particular app using their Facebook credentials (e.g., the “Sign in with Facebook” option). The data included user names, email addresses, country, time zone, Facebook ID, and, in limited instances, gender, all of which were allegedly used by OneAudience for targeted marketing services. OneAudience also allegedly collected device data such as call logs, cell tower and other geolocation data, contacts, browser information, email, and information about installed apps.


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