March 11 (UPI) -- Facebook has filed a lawsuit against two Ukrainian web operators for collecting private user data and putting advertisements into their news feeds.
The lawsuit, filed in Northern California federal court Friday, accused Gleb Sluchevsky and Andrey Gorbachov of being a part of a long-term hacking scheme in which they enticed users to install malicious browser plugins promising horoscopes or "character and popularity" tests. It infected about 63,000 browsers, the suit said.
The app promised to collect only limited information, but directed users to install extensions that gave the hackers access.
"The malicious extensions enabled defendants to 'scrape' information from the app users' social media profiles and inject advertisements when the app users visited different social networking sites, including Facebook," the company said in the lawsuit.
"Facebook identified defendants and their scheme through an investigation of malicious extensions and disabled all of defendants' known Facebook accounts in 2018."
Facebook suit accuses the pair of causing more than $75,000 in damages and seeks "injunctive and other equitable relief." The suit accuses them of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.
Facebook has been criticized over the last year over privacy concerns worldwide. British officials last month accused it of intentionally violating privacy laws.
The British Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg showed contempt for British Parliament and the International Committee by not agreeing to testify in person about the company's privacy policies and association with Cambridge Analytica.