In the last few weeks, dust has crept up between the maker of a forgotten Facebook bikini app and the social media giant has been strengthened by a profound battle involving the British parliament.
On Friday, both sides appeared in Six4Three v. Facebook lawsuit alleging breach of contract before a judge in San Mateo County for the second time of the week in a hearing that lasted three hours.
Six. Treas' recent lawsuit, however, shows that its lawyers are also involved in another lawsuit brought by another company – one that promotes breast cancer awareness, including apps – which imposes very similar claims to Facebook. This new case, Styleform IT v. Facebook filed last month in the San Francisco County Superior Court, makes sweeping claims that Facebook has for many years been engaged in "fake and competitive schemes that are designed and executed by Suzuki Facebook Inc.'s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, with the intention of deliberately misleading tens of thousands of software companies. "
The case concerns breach of contract, hiding and purpose Styleform IT seems to be the second The case brought under the "Facebook App Economy" banner – an extensive effort to sue Facebook by app developers who feel foolish. This website, which only dates back to a few months, does not list any person or company behind it, but invites readers to say "Tell Zuckerberg we will no longer be his patsy!"
Submission in a related Six4Three case dating back to 2016 strongly recommends that this site was created by Six4Three itself, apparently as a way to recruit more developers for its reason. Facebook tried to shut it up at that time and claimed a trademark law that did not seem to have been successful. It's not clear why Six4Three wishes to keep its connection to this site a secret if it and lawyers want to draw other untouched app developers.
The new prosecutor, Styleform IT, is a seemingly disappeared single-person company, which according to the lawsuit only made a few Facebook apps, which began over a decade ago.
Facebook has denied any misdemeanor.
"This case is as merciless as the Six4Three case," Sally Aldous, a Facebook spokeswoman, told Ars in a statement.
Straight outta Stockholm
Styleform IT does not seem to have any online presence. It was first registered with the Swedish Business Register in January 2005 for a man named "Frans Olof Mikael Belmondo Rosén", who lived in Enskede, a suburb of Stockholm.
The case states that Styleform's headquarters is a home in Enskede, only 2.5 kilometers from the previously registered home address.
It is a well-known Swedish information security researcher named Frans Rosén, who says He lives in Stockholm, but it is not clear if this is the same person. This Rosén did not respond to Ar's requests for comment.
Attorneys Stuart Gross and Benjamin Klein, based in San Francisco together with David Godki and James Kruzer from Boston, did not respond to Ar's requests for
The style-form lawsuit goes through an expansive story that largely reflects it as brought into the Six4Three complaint, in many cases using very similar, if not the same language.
Styleform's lawyers claim that Facebook has weakened many developers when it pulled a blanket under them in 2015. That's when Facebook finally got access to its more permissive first version ("v1.0") of Graph API, the primary way to Get data in and out of Facebook.
"Facebook's Graph API was a Revolution in Large-scale Data Spread," wrote Jonathan Albright, Research Director at Columbia University Tow Center for Digital Journalism, in March 2018.
"The converted people to a D's like , connections, sites, updates, networks, stories, and extended social networks to – quite literally – "objects". It made the company's offerings and the data its users generated more economically viable. " Or, viewed differently, despite the fact that user markup updates are" private ", making them unreadable to other Facebook friends, these data continued to be machine readable.
" The API was not Restricted Based on User Privacy Settings – It was misleading, says Ashkan Soltani, an independent privacy researcher who recently witnessed Facebook before the British Parliament, to Ars.
"API developers were treated with the same access level as Facebook itself. They were given almost superuser access."
The style form lawsuit, like the Six4Three case, claims that Facebook initially said it would give all developers equal access to the Graph API, as it actually gave "special access" to high-profile players, including Nissan and Royal Bank of Canada.
In fact, new documents have appeared as a result of the Six4Three case, carried out. They show that Facebook gave extended access to a number of big businesses and even convinced to access their huge data flow.
Facebook has said that these revelations are "deceptive", but it has not fully explained why or given additional context.
Styleform's civil complaint tells a story of a bending point in 2012, when Facebook's stock had gone down and the company had to reconsider its business model.
"To save Facebook's business, Sheryl Sandberg, Dan Rose, Samuel Lessin and others, convinced Zuckerberg to fire User Data and Graph API into an extortion program that had devastating effects across the entire consumer software industry and caused 35,000 small to medium sized businesses to closing or swinging with a significant loss, causing chaos on investors, employees, and relatives dependent on them, says the document.
The power to move markets
So what did Styleform IT really do?
The company was entrepreneur for a Swedish advertising agency, claiming to create the first Swedish Facebook app Pink Ribbon, designed to raise the awareness of the breast cancer. Apparently, the app apparently increased more than € 200,000 to support research on the disease.
Styleform continued to create a new program, Climate Smart ("Climate Smart"), left to use the "full friend list API and other Graph API endpoints" to operate, now more than 17,000 Facebook users. Another app, "Nyarsloften", suggested resolutions to friends and helped track their progress.
Through these three apps, Styleform claims that it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and maintain these apps and lost a contract worth millions as a result of Facebook's actions.
"In short, Zuckerberg woke up data from one third of the planet's population to cover up his missing transition to Facebook's business from desktop computers to mobile ads before the market realized that Facebook's economic forecasts for 2012 and 2013 were fake because Facebook did not had represented exactly how quickly users transferred their time on the Internet from desktop computers to mobile phones, continues the case.
Meanwhile, Soltani, previously employed in the Federal Trade Commission and helped launch his research and research office, added Britain's parliamentary hearing was for the first time he had seen a police officer who "connects the dots between competition and privacy" and was hopeful that other regulators would notice.
"Companies use personal information as a competitive tool, and it seems like It is finally in the public discourse that Not only is it about the control of information but also the control of the information has strategic market benefits of whom you share data with, he says, adding that growth at all costs is Silicon Valley "dirty secret".
"You can be a royal association of the app economy by allowing someone to utilize personal information for the purpose of improving advertising, but also virality and improved growth. Whether you have access to a friend list, you can make or destroy a company. "
Facebook has not formally responded to the lawsuit and no legal hearings have been put.