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Rankwave, an analytics firm sued by Facebook for data misuse

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Rankwave, an analytics firm sued by Facebook for data misuse

Facebook will have another Cambridge Analytica on their hands. Last Friday, Facebook has revealed that they have filed a lawsuit against the South Korean analytics firm called Rankwave because they abused their developer platform data.

The company has refused to cooperate with Facebook and has denied the request to delete all its data. The lawsuit center of Facebook and Rankwave was working together to build a Facebook authorization step in their applications so that Rankwave can get access to all the data.

Rankwave basically analyzes all the behavioral traits of the people and from there provides a concrete and targeting assistance to different businesses around. It has also been claimed that the company ends up misusing data of the people who use their applications for checking their influencer score. The main function of the application is to check all the locations and check-ins and then determine where you are. Suppose, it finds out that you are in a baseball stadium, then it will help its clients to target your news feed with different baseball tickets.

This application seems to be very fun, but in reality, it is just there so that it can collect data about the customers. TechCrunch got a hold of a copy of the lawsuit, which goes on to say that Rankwave is accused of using Facebook data outside of the Facebook application which is technically not allowed by Facebook. Since the company has violated Facebook policy they are now being sued.

Jessica Romero Facebook’s director of platform enforcement and litigation wrote:

“By filing the lawsuit, we are sending a message to developers that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies, including requiring developers to cooperate with us during an investigation. To date, Rankwave has not participated in our investigation and we are trying to get more info from them to determine if there was any misuse of Pages data.”

The Facebook lawsuit states that:

“Rankwave used the Facebook data associated with Rankwave’s apps to create and sell advertising and marketing analytics and models which violated Facebook’s policies and terms. Failed to comply with Facebook’s requests for proof of Rankwave’s compliance with Facebook policies, including an audit.”

It has been made sure that Rankwave has accessed data of the users and then used it outside the application which is not correct.

“Platform Policies largely restrict Developers from using Facebook data outside of the environment of the app, for any purpose other than enhancing the app users’ experience on the app.”

Rankwave ended up using Facebook data outside the application, making things worse for the company.

According to the Facebook suit claims:

 “Rankwave’s B2B apps were installed and used by businesses to track and analyze activity on their Facebook Pages . . . Rankwave operated a consumer app called the ‘Rankwave App.’ This consumer app was designed to measure the app user’s popularity on Facebook by analyzing the level of interaction that other users had with the app user’s Facebook posts. On its website, Rankwave claimed that this app calculated a user’s ‘Social influence score’ by ‘evaluating your social activities’ and receiving ‘responses from your friends.”

According to the data which is collected by TechCrunch Rankwave is still known to offer Android apps the option of login with Facebook. This is the perfect way for the application to collect all the data and then use it outside the application. When all the policies of Facebook were not very strict, this kind of application could have got away with it but since 2015 a lot of things have changed.

The company Rankwave was founded in the year 2012 by Sungwha Shim. Facebook has assessed that the value of the data at that point in time was about 9.8 million. Till January 2019, Facebook did not reach Rankwave with their social policies. After Facebook reached out, they Rankwave did not cooperate with Facebook which made Facebook decide on taking legal action on the company. Rankwave has denied that they have violated the policies of Facebook.

Rankwave was promoting all its services openly which is basically a violation of the Facebook laws. Facebook has identified the company as a potential issue and before blocking them, it has tried to fix the issue by itself. Once the issue can get solved, they ended up announcing it publicly. Since there is no official transfer between Rankwave and other companies, the lawsuit will not be that easy for Facebook. Facebook has finally given some attention to its security rather than their growth.

Henry is a writer from Berlin. His work has appeared at various popular media sites such as BBC, The Outline, DAME, etc. At GadgetFreeks, He reports news about the latest startups launching in the market. Also, He likes to share the latest tech news from the market.

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