Outside firm prohibited from using Vkontakte users’ data
MOSCOW, July 7 (RAPSI) – The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has granted an application filed by Vkontakte social network against Double Data seeking to cancel the latter company’s use of open data provided by users on the social network to sell its own services, according to court records.
The appeals instance has therefore overturned the Moscow Commercial Court’s ruling of March 22 dismissing the social media’s lawsuit.
Апелляционная инстанция отменила решение Арбитражного суда Москвы от 22 марта, когда истцу было отказано в заявлении.
In February 2019, the court ordered to carry out a technical expert examination of the arguments put forward in the dispute, and stayed the action. An expert of a private expert agency was asked to answer 59 questions, in particular, if the programs used by Double Data permitted to extract, copy, and store information received from Vkontakte database, and where the server, on which the information was stored, was located.
The lawsuit was reopened in April.
In October, the defendant asked the court to order another expert examination citing the alleged deficiencies of the first one.
Vkontakte claims that Double Data extracts information from the social network’s database (names, surnames, places of work and study) despite the fact that neither Vkontakte, nor it users gave permissions to retrieve such information and to use it for commercial purposes.
On January 31, 2017, the social network filed a lawsuit against two defendants. According to the plaintiff, the National Bureau of Credit Histories, which used to be the second defendant, offered credit organizations services allowing to evaluate creditworthiness of loaners based on Vkontakte data. These services were based on technologies developed by Double Data, Vkontakte believed.
On August 15, 2017, the court cancelled proceedings between the social network and the Bureau after they reached settlement. The settlement read that the Bureau worked with Double Data in the framework of guarantees provided by the latter company assuring that use of Vkontakte data was legal. According to the settlement, the Bureau had to severe its relations to Double Down and to stop using products and technologies based on extraction of information from Vkontakte’s database without its permission.
In October 2017, the Moscow Commercial Court dismissed the lawsuit against Double Data.
In July 2018, the Intellectual Property Court (IP Court) nullified all earlier court rulings in the dispute remanding the case for a new trial.