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After a lawsuit was filed against them by the technology giant "Meta" - the Israeli startup goes to war | Israel today


"Meta" started legal proceedings in order to prevent the Israeli start-up "Bright Data" from collecting public information from it, even though the company admitted that it had used its services in the past * The CEO of the Israeli company warns: Meta is trying to turn Facebook into China

A legal dispute broke out in recent days between an Israeli startup from Netanya that employs about 400 people and the technology giant "Meta" - the parent company of Facebook and Instagram.

The tension between the two sheds light on the war going on behind the scenes over one of the most important resources there is - information and access to it.

The conflict began following the activity of the Israeli startup "Bright Data", to collect public information from the Internet, in other words - "harvesting information".

We are familiar with this activity mainly from price comparison engines, which scan many web pages in order to gather and show us prices from different suppliers on one convenient page.

"Meta" filed a lawsuit against them in the California court demanding that it stop scanning the public information published on the company's various platforms - mainly Facebook and Instagram.

Happy for the opportunity to fight with the giant companies.

Or Lenchner, photo: Anat Pemlia Shero

In a conversation with Israel Hayom, the CEO of "Bright Data" Or Lenchner warned that blocking their ability to scan the "Meta" platforms would harm the freedom of internet information, and claimed that in this lawsuit "Meta" is trying to turn Facebook into China in order to control Who sees what. "It is a slippery slope, if we give in to Facebook, the next in line to try to keep public information to themselves are the other technology giants."

"Bright Data" scans information of various types that is publicly published on websites and social networks, with the aim of organizing and presenting it to its customers.

For example, it collects information for its clients who wish to follow the information that their competitors publish about themselves, for the purpose of business intelligence.

Another type of information is information that the company collects for associations such as "Elam", in order to alert them of teenagers in need.

Surprisingly, as part of an exchange of letters between the two companies, it was discovered that "Meta" itself used the various services of "Bright Data" as a customer.

We emphasize that the very activity of collecting the information is legal.

A similar conflict that broke out in 2017 between the business network "LinkedIn" and a company called "hiQ Labs" ended last year with the victory of the small company and the recognition of its right to harvest information.

For this reason, "Meta" did not attack the legality of the actual harvesting of the information itself, but on the basis of reasons related to the usage contract of "Bright Data" with "Meta", as having a profile page on the platform.

A contract that according to "Meta" - prohibits the harvesting of information.

In response to the taking of the procedure by "Meta", "Bright Data" hastened to take legal steps on its part, and submitted to a court in Delaware a request to cancel "Meta's" claim.

"Bright Data" asked the court for declaratory relief to declare that there is no legal impediment on their part to search and use public information from "Meta" websites.

In response to our inquiry, "Meta" stated that the company does not respond to issues that are in legal clarity, but confirmed the company's response to the "Bloomberg" network.

In response, Meta confirmed that it made use of "Bright Data" products itself in order to harvest information from e-commerce sites, with the aim of building pages for brands on "Meta" platforms.

"Meta" also made use of "Bright Data" products to locate "offensive websites".

Lenchner, the CEO of the Israeli company, added more about the danger that the lawsuit threatens to bring with it to freedom of speech: "Those who hold most of the public information are the same technology giants, who want to keep it for themselves in order to make more money from it.

On the other hand, we have 220 universities that use our services for research purposes.

This information is public information that should be collected.

This is a precious mineral and must be collected for the progress of humanity.

That's why we decided not to give up and go to this battle."

According to Lenchner, "Bright Data" does fight alone on this front against "Meta", but behind the scenes it receives wall-to-wall support.

"We know what our competitors are doing and I haven't seen one who took a position like ours - they all stopped collecting information from Facebook. We feel like justice warriors who are leading this thing. If we had surrendered to "meta" we would have received inquiries from other giants."

When asked how it feels to be the CEO of a small company that entered into a legal conflict with a giant company like "Meta" he said: "The second I understood the facts, I was the happiest person to take this legal battle on my shoulders and the company's.

We have the full backing of the investors, which includes support, encouragement and advice and every resource we need."

About the chance of winning he says, "No one could explain to me in which situation it is right to limit access to public information. I just returned from the US and met clients from huge companies.

Everyone knew about it, and everyone was behind us behind the scenes.

We expect to receive support from the Israeli government as well, but mainly from the US government and the European Union, who are looking at "Meta" and all the other giants in precisely these contexts of abusing the tremendous power they have accumulated, in part to limit important resources from the public."

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Source: israelhayom

All tech articles on 2023-02-05

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