Meta, the company that owns Facebook, has announced that seven monitoring businesses have been barred from targeting people on its platforms.
According to a new study from Meta, around 50,000 users will receive warnings regarding “malicious activity.”
It accused surveillance businesses of creating false accounts, befriending people, and harvesting data through hacking tactics.
The companies were accused of targeting individuals such as journalists and human rights campaigners, according to the corporation.
Following a months-long investigation, Meta suspended 1,500 pages across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, according to the report.
According to Meta, the companies targeted consumers in over 100 countries on behalf of their clients.
Following revelations earlier this year about the Pegasus spyware targeting thousands, Thursday’s report puts the spying sector under much more scrutiny.
Investigators discovered “indiscriminate” targeting of regular citizens as well as high-profile personalities such as lawmakers and human rights defenders, he said.
The Israeli firm Black Cube, which sprang to notoriety after it was revealed that Harvey Weinstein had recruited them to spy on women accusing him of sexual assault, was one of the companies listed by Meta.
Black Cube denied “phishing or hacking” in a statement to Reuters, claiming that all of its agents’ activities were “fully compliant with local laws.”
According to Meta officials, users who were impacted by the activity would receive automated warnings that they had been impacted without providing specifics.