• Under lense: 6 firms including India’s BellTroX use Facebook for spying on users, says report

    Technology

    New Delhi: In a major breach to one’s privacy on social media platforms, Meta Platforms Inc., parent of social media giant Facebook has announced a sweeping crackdown on surveillance companies that it says have used its social media websites to spy on people in more than 100 countries.

    In a report published on Thursday, Meta identified six companies from Israel, India and North Macedonia, in addition to an unknown entity in China, which it said carried out “indiscriminate” surveillance targeting thousands of people.

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    Meta in its reports stated that it has blocked links and foundational base disallowing companies from carrying out their reconnaissance work. The companies have been issues cease and desist warnings to them and banned about 1,500 of their accounts from Facebook and Instagram, used to carry out spying work.

    Those targeted for surveillance by the companies included journalists, dissidents, critics of authoritarian regimes, and families of opposition and human rights activists, according to Meta. More than 48,000 people believed to have been targeted by the surveillance companies were alerted by Meta.

    “The goal of today’s enforcement is not just to take down their accounts, but to disrupt their activity in the most costly way possible, to blow the cover on their operations and bring transparency to the industry,” said David Agranovich, Meta’s director of threat disruption.

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