Meta is suing a Turkish man for ‘scraping’ about 350,000 Instagram profiles. He allegedly published the information publicly on a cloned website. In addition, Meta is also suing a scrape service, Octopus.
This accusation also applies to Octopus. The US subsidiary of a Chinese party is said to sell scraping as a service for a fee. According to the prosecutor, customers must share their login details, so that the scraping bots can see data that is otherwise not public. Meta wants the lawsuit to force the company to stop offering the service.
Scrapingbots can copy all data with an access account
that a normal user would also see. Image via Instagram
Octopus offers its service to a diverse selection of targets, including Amazon, eBay, Twitter, Yelp, Google, Target, Walmart, Indeed, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
Usually it is explicitly stated in the user conditions of websites whether scraping of data is allowed or not. In principle, the automated collection of public data is not illegal, but it regularly happens that illegal actions take place in connection with the data obtained. In addition, Meta suggests that the two charges do not concern public data, but rather protected data that is only accessible to users with an account.