The daily business briefing: December 17, 2021

Meta bans 7 surveillance firms from Facebook and Instagram, a judge overturns Purdue Pharma settlement that shielded Sacklers, and more

Meta bans "surveillance-for-hire" firms
Meta bans "surveillance-for-hire" firms
(Image credit: NOAH BERGER/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Meta bans 7 'surveillance-for-hire' firms

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said Thursday that it had banned seven firms it has concluded used its platforms to spy on 50,000 users in more than 100 countries. The people allegedly targeted included human rights activists, government critics, celebrities, journalists, and others. Meta said the "surveillance-for-hire" firms were associated with 1,500 Facebook and Instagram accounts used to spy on people and get them to provide personal information, which let the companies infect the users' devices with spyware. Some of the spy companies also used Meta's WhatsApp to place malware on people's phones. "Each of these actors rely on networks of fake accounts on our platforms that are used to deceive users and mislead them," Nathaniel Gleicher, Meta's head of security policy, told NPR.

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