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Facebook sues analytics firm Rankwave over alleged information misuse.

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Facebook is suing a South Korean firm it accuses of unlawfully using information to sell marketing and advertising.
The social network is asking a judge to force Rankwave to allow it to audit the firm’s activities to see if user information was obtained and potentially sold.


A source at Facebook told the BBC it was as yet unable to say how much information or how many users may be affected.
The network said the move would “send a message to developers that Facebook is serious regarding enforcing our policies”.


“Facebook was investigating Rankwave’s information practices in regard 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.”
The BBC was unable to reach Rankwave for comment on Friday.


Tracking users’ posts.


According to court documents filed in California on Friday, Facebook is accusing Rankwave of using at least 30 totally different apps to “track and analyze” comments and likes on Facebook pages.
Rankwave additionally had a consumer app that, after gaining the user’s consent, would track the popularity of that user’s posts. The app would calculate a “social influence score”, Facebook said.


However, the social network said it had information that since 2014, Rankwave had been using data gathered by its apps “for its own business purposes, which include providing consulting services to advertisers and promoting companies”.


In its lawsuit, Facebook accuses Rankwave of ignoring repeated requests to open itself up to an audit and provide proof relating to information it had allegedly obtained.


Facebook wants a judge to force Rankwave to take those steps, as well as pay an unspecified amount in damages. Facebook said the data company had injured its “reputation” and “public trust”.
Facebook said it began investigating Rankwave, which has remained active on the network until last month, in June2018.


‘We need new web rules’


The case will most likely draw comparisons with Cambridge Analytica, the UK-based data analytics firm that abused private Facebook data in order to inform political campaigning efforts. The discovery of that incident plunged Facebook into a crisis.


On Friday, Facebook co-founder and ceo Mark Zuckerberg met French President Emmanuel macron in Paris to discuss potential regulation of social networks.


“We need new rules for the internet that will spell out the responsibilities of corporations and those of governments,” MrZuckerberg told French tv channel France 2 after the meeting.


However, he didn’t address calls from fellow Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes that the corporate was too powerful and should be broken up.

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