On Thursday, Facebook filed a federal lawsuit against oneAudience data intelligence company over a tactic it used to gather information about users of social media platforms.
Facebook said that the New Jersey-based oneAudience paid software makers to install “malicious” software in their apps in order to “improperly” collect data about people at Facebook and other social media sites.
Jessica Romero, director of platform enforcement and litigation said in a blog post that “Security researchers first flagged oneAudience’s behavior to us as part of our data abuse bounty program. Facebook, and other affected companies, then took enforcement measures against oneAudience.”
According to the social network, measures taken by Facebook late last year included disabling apps; sending oneAudience legal notification to stop the activity.
Romero said that Facebook called on oneAudience to cooperate with the audit as required the social network’s policies, but the company declined.
The world’s biggest social network has faced intense pressure to crack down on improper data usage since revelations that a political consultancy working on Donald Trump’s campaign hijacked personal information on tens of millions of users.
Late last year, Twitter warned users personal information such as email, user name, and most recent tweet could be accessed and taken using a malicious software development kit maintained by oneAudience.
Twitter said in the warning that “While we have no evidence to suggest that this was used to take control of a Twitter account, it is possible that a person could do so.”
Twitter informed users to check the list of apps with permission to access data on their smartphones and to revoke access being given to any they don’t use or recognize.
People were also informed to be very selective about which apps they link to social network accounts.
The oneAudience website says it works with partners to “identify unique mobile device IDs to pinpoint real, verified mobile users” and “connect billions of offline and online touchpoints to fully understand the user behind the screen.”