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20201005 SEL Brief

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Facebook has filed suit against two companies it says used browser extensions to scrape and sell user data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Amazon.When installed, the Chrome browser extensions, “UpVoice” and “Ads Feed,” pulled down the user’s name, user ID, gender, date of birth, relationship status, location information and other account-related data. The companies appear to be run by the same people.

Why we care. The extensions didn’t have big install bases, just 5,000 and 10,000 installs, according to ZDNet, but in addition to user data, the extensions also scraped “advertisements and advertising metrics (name of the advertiser, image and text of the advertisement, and user interaction and reaction metrics), and user Ad Preferences (user advertisement interest information),” ZDNet reported. Buyer beware who you’re funding: The data was repackaged and sold as marketing intelligence. 

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