Facebook sues North Korean firm over potential data misuse


Facebook is suing a North Korean company called Rankwave over potential misselling of data for advertising purposes just weeks after it confirmed a lawsuit against a New Zealand agency for similar practices.

Facebook has accused Rankwave of permitting least 30 different apps to "track and analyse" comments and likes on Facebook pages.

It also claims to have evidence suggesting that since 2014 the firm has also been using data gathered by its apps "for its own business purposes, which include providing consulting services to advertisers and marketing companies".

Facebook claims Rankwave has since ignored audit requests, resulting in the lawsuit. It now wants a judge to force Rankwave to open itself up to auditing and pay an unspecified amount in damages.

Facebook said the data company had harmed its "reputation" and "public trust". It wants to "send a message to developers that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies".

"Facebook was investigating Rankwave’s data practices in relation to its advertising and marketing services," said Jessica Romero, Facebook's director of platform enforcement.

"Rankwave failed to co-operate with our efforts to verify their compliance with our policies, which we require of all developers using our platform."

Last month, Facebook took legal action against a New Zealand firm and three individuals who reportedly profited from selling fake likes, followers and views on Instagram.

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