10th October 2012
Profile Technology Ltd has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in California alleging that Facebook acted illegally by terminating a 2008 custom agreement that gave The Profile Engine access to public Facebook data. The complaint further alleges that when we resisted Facebook demands for a lopsided new agreement Facebook retaliated against Profile by turning off our apps and spreading misinformation causing significant injury.
Since 2007 The Profile Engine has offered a wide range of search tools to help you find old friends and meet new people. Our people-search tools are far more powerful and flexible than those available on Facebook. Millions of people have created public profiles directly on The Profile Engine and our contract with Facebook allows us to search the public data from over 400 million more public Facebook profiles. Nearly two million people now visit profileengine.com every month.
We believe that if you change or delete your public profile on Facebook then the same change should happen automatically on the Profile Engine to protect your privacy. Since October 2010 Facebook have broken their agreement with us and have prevented us from keeping your profile up to date automatically like we used to do.
Although having to update a second profile separately is a huge nuisance for millions of people, the popularity of the Profile Engine has continued to soar because our search tools are so good. It seems Facebook saw the dramatic success and popularity of our unique social network search engine as a threat to their monopoly because next they suddenly started blocking logins to the Profile Engine. This meant Facebook users were unable to log in and update their Profile Engine profiles at all. It seems Facebook wanted your Profile Engine profile to get out of date and they wanted to take away the control we give you over the information you made public. These actions by Facebook are why you now have to go through such an unnecessarily complex process to claim, update or delete your profile.
You may also have noticed some of your favourite Facebook apps have disappeared. We developed several of the most popular applications on Facebook with many millions of happy users. Facebook just removed all those apps without any apparent reason or explanation! We quickly set up replacement apps at profileengine.com but we couldn't tell you about them because Facebook cut off our communication channels with users of our apps. They didn't even give refunds to people who had paid for apps in advance using Facebook credits! As if that wasn't shocking enough, Facebook then demanded that we give them control of The Profile Engine, in return for which they said they might re-enable the apps!
We have done everything possible to resolve this diplomatically with Facebook in private over the last two years but all to no avail. In the last few months they even started censoring anyone who wants to recommend or discuss profileengine.com on Facebook! Facebook have spread a lot of misinformation and have tried really hard to make us look bad so we think it's about time to reveal the whole truth.
Facebook cut off our main source of income (the apps) and we were losing money fast. We are a tiny company in a small country, perhaps they thought they could bully us into submission? If so, they were wrong. We have worked for years without pay to keep the site up and running throughout these attacks because people rely on us - there's nothing more satisfying than hearing from people who found love using our dating search tools, plus we never forget the 114,981 people on the Profile Engine who share the name John Smith... our unique filtered searches are essential to find the John Smith you need!
Further information is posted here:
The Rothken Law Firm website
CNET : Facebook hit with breach of contract suit
The Inquirer : Facebook sued by search developer
MSN News : NZ company sues Facebook
NZCity : NZ company sues Facebook