These Chrome extensions scraped user data, and Facebook isn't happy

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Facebook has initiated legal proceedings against several Portugal-based developers for unscrupulously scraping data from customers using the site. 

The social network argues that four of their extensions listed on the Chrome Web Store, functioned like spyware. In a release posted in their newsroom, Jessica Romero, Facebook’s Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation said the developers “misled users into installing the extensions with a privacy policy that claimed they did not collect any personal information.

She added that the extensions conceal code that’s designed to scrape information from Facebook along with other information from the users’ browsers, without their knowledge and consent.

Spyware extensions

“If the user visited the Facebook website, the browser extensions were programmed to scrape their name, user ID, gender, relationship status, age group and other information related to their account,” Romero said.

She added that the case is part of Facebook’s ongoing international efforts “to detect and enforce against those who scrape Facebook users’ data, including those who use browser extensions to compromise people’s browsers.”

The four extensions she highlighted, namely Web for Instagram plus DM, Blue Messenger, Emoji keyboard and Green Messenger, are reportedly still available for download in the Chrome Web Store and currently have more than 54,000 users.

The developer's response to Facebook's legal action isn't yet known.

Via: BleepingComputer

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.