Tags: facebook | facerecognition | data | privacy | russia | purge

Facebook: Russia 'Scraped' Data for Facial Scans

reflection of facebook screen in eye

( Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 14 October 2018 10:59 AM

Russian accounts were removed from Facebook after the social media giant found the Russian firms tied to them were scraping facial recognition data of users, according to The New York Times.

"Facebook has reason to believe your work for the government has included matching photos from individuals' personal social media accounts in order to identify them," a Facebook cease-and-desist letter to SocialDataHub, obtained by the Times, read.

The account purge was announced with a larger removal of social media accounts related to disinformation, according to Facebook. There were 66 Facebook accounts who were alleged to have violated terms of service, the Times reported.

Facebook has been embroiled in the data privacy controversy as many tech giants have since the 2016 presidential election and as been proactive in routing out abuse and misuse since.

Facebook's vast amounts of user data has been susceptible to being acquired by app makers and "bad actors" because much of it has been listed as public. The problem is magnified because of the millions of users and the ease of "scraping" the Facebook data electronically in seconds.

SocialDataHub and Fubutech CEO Artur Khachuyan, 26, admits his firm does build facial-recognition software for the Russian government, as reported, but said he scrapes Google search results and not Facebook. He did admit his journalism students used Facebook for that purpose, according to the report.

"Maybe it's a reason to deactivate our accounts, but I don't know why Facebook deletes Instagram account of my dog," Khachuyan – whose SocialDataHub website proclaims "We know everything about everybody" – told the Times.

Facebook spokeswoman Katy Dormer rejected Khachuyan claim about his students being the culprits, per the Times.

"We don't take these actions lightly," she told the paper. "The fact we took the action and sent the letter means we saw enough evidence."

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Russian accounts were removed from Facebook after the social media giant found the Russian firms tied to them were scraping facial recognition data of users, according to The New York Times.
facebook, facerecognition, data, privacy, russia, purge
303
2018-59-14
Sunday, 14 October 2018 10:59 AM
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