Facebook revealed last Friday that it has filed a lawsuit alleging South Korean analytics firm Rankwave abused its developer platform’s data, and has refused to cooperate with a mandatory compliance audit and request to delete the data. TechCrunch reports: Facebook’s lawsuit centers around Rankwave offering to help businesses build a Facebook authorization step into their apps so they can pass all the user data to Rankwave, which then analyzes biographic and behavioral traits to supply user contact info and ad targeting assistance to the business. Rankwave also apparently misused data sucked in by its own consumer app for checking your social media “influencer score.” That app could pull data about your Facebook activity such as location checkins, determine that you’ve checked into a baseball stadium, and then Rankwave could help its clients target you with ads for baseball tickets.
The use of a seemingly fun app to slurp up user data and repurpose it for other business goals is strikingly similar to how Cambridge Analytica’s personality quiz app tempted millions of users to provide data about themselves and their friends. TechCrunch has attained a copy of the lawsuit that alleges that Rankwave misused Facebook data outside of the apps where it was collected, purposefully delayed responding to a cease-and-desist order, claimed it didn’t violate Facebook policy, lied about not using its apps since 2018 when they were accessed in April 2019, and then refused to comply with a mandatory audit of its data practices. Facebook Platform data is not supposed to be repurposed for other business goals, only for the developer to improve their app’s user experience.
“Open Channel D…”
— Napoleon Solo, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.