Bright Data has some exciting news to share. On January 23rd, 2024 a U.S. Federal Court’s ruling in Meta v. Bright Data reaffirms the public’s right to access and collect public web data.
A summary judgment opinion by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in Meta v. Bright Data confirms, “The Facebook and Instagram Terms do not bar logged-off scraping of public data; perforce it does not prohibit the sale of such public data. Therefore, the Terms cannot bar Bright Data’s logged-off scraping activities.”
The judge’s ruling states that Meta’s terms are only applicable to a user who is actively logged into their account and is using the account for the purpose of scraping data. Meta’s terms do not apply to scraping of public information while logged out of an account.
“When Meta approached us with a demand to stop allowing our customers to collect public data (scraping) from Facebook and Instagram, we decided that the right thing to do was to refuse and resolve this in court because public data should remain public,” said Or Lenchner, CEO of Bright Data. “Despite many efforts by tech giants to exclusively control public information on the internet, common sense prevailed. Public information is public. This has always been our claim, and we are very happy about the decision of the court that supports this approach. Bright Data, as the leading web data collection company, will continue to fight for the basic right to free access to public information on the web.”
Bright Data only scrapes publicly available data, which is visible to anyone without a log-in. Meta has made the information Bright Data scrapes available to anyone on the Internet and Bright Data’s technology allows organizations to access data to provide information for research and business decisions.
This also marks an important milestone in our company’s vision to keep public web data public both universally accessible and free.