FACEBOOK IS SUDDENLY taking privacy breaches very seriously, for some reason. Its team of lawyers have taken aim at a couple of Ukrainian developers who the company claims stole private data via a browser extension.
The bait for the malware was that catnip for simpletons, the personality test. Users were encouraged to log in via Facebook before downloading the malicious browser extension which stole publicly visible information and private friend lists.
Only then were victims able to get down to the really important matter of the day: what kind of dog they were according to their zodiac sign, and what their intellectual age was. Apparently, 63,000 people were infected between 2017 and 2018, which means we can hazard a pretty good guess as to the answer to the latter.
Facebook has served papers to Andrey Gorbachov and Gleb Sluchevsky for breaking the Computer Fraud and Abuse act, and separately slapped both with breach of contract and fraud for assuring Facebook they were just regular developers who would use the social network for its permitted purposes.
Facebook attempts to distance itself from fault in the suit, claiming that users "effectively compromised their own browsers" by installing the extensions. That's true, but it the extension wouldn't have been able to grab data if the developers hadn't been accepted by Facebook as registered developers, permitted to use Facebook Login.
But crucially, that makes it quite different from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved Facebook voluntarily giving up too much data to developers, rather than needing to be hoodwinked by a browser plug in.
Whether Facebook can expect any success from the suit is up in the air, given it can't compel Gorbachov or Sluchevsky to come to the US to face trial. But it doesn't hurt Facebook to look suitably angry about data breaches given the terrible time its had of late. µ
Some deliberately, others through stupidity
Quite the business expense
It's another quantum leap camera
Evolution, not revolution, but that's just fine