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Social Networking Giant Facebook Sues OnlineNIC for Domain Name Fraud: Report

The lawsuit also references some 20 other domain names that are similar to Facebook and Instagram

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook has filed a lawsuit against domain name registrar OnlineNIC for registering domain names or web addresses that pretended to be affiliated with the social networking giant.

The domain names like www-facebook-login.com and facebook-mails.com are designed to mislead and confuse the users who believe they’re interacting with Facebook.

“By mentioning our apps and services in the domain names, OnlineNIC and ID Shield intended to make them appear legitimate and confuse people. This activity is known as cybersquatting and OnlineNIC has a history of this behaviour,” Facebook said in a statement on Thursday.

The company has filed a lawsuit in California against the state-based OnlineNIC and its proxy service ID Shield.

“We don’t want people to be deceived, so we track and take action against suspicious and misleading domains, including those registered using privacy/proxy services that allow owners to hide their identity,” said Facebook.

Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

There are tens of millions of domain names on the web that have been registered using these privacy/proxy services.

“We proactively report instances of abuse to domain name registrars and privacy/proxy services and often collaborate with them to take down these malicious domains,” it added.

Also Read: Instagram Shutting Down an App Called ‘Like Patrol’

In many instances, however, domain name registrars and privacy/proxy services will not investigate or respond to abuse reports, which enables bad actors and delays our efforts to fight fraud and abuse.

“This was the case with OnlineNIC and ID Shield,” said Facebook.

The lawsuit also references some 20 other domain names that are similar to Facebook and Instagram. (IANS)

Next Story

US Judge Orders Facebook to Disclose Malicious Apps’ Data: Report

The social networking giant found that the apps -- primarily social media management and video streaming apps -- retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface)

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

As part of a probe ordered in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users, a US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over data of thousands of apps that violated its user privacy.

Facebook admitted last year that it suspended “tens of thousands” of apps for possible privacy violations.

A Massachusetts judge rejected the social networking giant’s attempts to withhold the key details from state investigators, The Washington Post said in a report on Friday.

“We are disappointed that the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Court didn’t fully consider our arguments on well-established law. We are reviewing our options, including appeal,” a Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone was quoted as saying in the report.

Maura Healey, the Democratic Attorney General of Massachusetts, said: “We are pleased that the Court ordered Facebook to tell our office which other app developers may have engaged in conduct like Cambridge Analytica.”

facebook, instant games
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The state of Massachusetts launched the probe last September after Facebook admitted that it had suspended “tens of thousands” of apps on its platform as a result of its review on privacy practices launched following the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica.

The review, launched in 2018, followed revelations that the political consultancy hijacked personal data on millions of Facebook users and included attorneys, external investigators, data scientists, engineers, policy specialists and others, according to a Facebook statement.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in a record-breaking, $5 billion fine for Facebook from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Also Read: I Fall in Love with India Every Time I Return Here: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

In November 2019, Facebook revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface). (IANS)