More than 50,000 Facebook users in more than 100 countries were targeted by the surveillance-for-hire industry looking to sell their data to marketers and others, according to a report published on Meta’s blog on Thursday.
Meta is taking action against surveillance-for-hire
Meta identified more than seven entities, based in China, Israel, India and North Macedonia, which were trying to target people online on behalf of governments or private clients and disabled them. All the entities were banned from Meta services completely.
Meta director of threat disruption David Agranovich and head of cyber espionage Mike Dyvilyanski stated on the blog that:
“While these “cyber mercenaries” often claim that their services only target criminals and terrorists, our months-long investigation concluded that targeting is in fact indiscriminate and includes journalists, dissidents, critics of authoritarian regimes, families of opposition and human rights activists.”
Meta is taking a stand against advanced technology in the hands of cyber attackers and trying to keep users safe from it.
“Cyber mercenaries” say they’re only interested in criminals and terrorists, but they use their methods against many people, according to Agranovich and Dvilyanski and they add:
“For our collective response against abuse to be effective, it is imperative for technology platforms, civil society and democratic governments to raise the costs on this global industry and disincentivize these abusive surveillance-for-hire services.”