Facebook is suing a Ukrainian programmer for allegedly selling publicly accessible information from millions of Facebook users.
The company filed the lawsuit on Thursday in the Northern District of California federal court, accusing freelance programmer Alexander Alexandrovich Solonchenko of using automated means to scrape phone numbers and the user IDs off roughly 178 million accounts in 2018 and 2019.
Solonchenko went on to allegedly sell the data on an online marketplace in May 2021, according to reports. The lawsuit indicated that the majority of the stolen information belonged to users based in the United States.
In the same vein, Facebook argues that Solonchenko violated its terms of service, which prohibit users from doing anything unlawful, misleading, or fraudulent.
Accordingly, the tech giant has disabled the Ukrainian programmer’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and revoked his access to the company’s websites. The lawsuit asks for a jury trial.