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You don't even need a developer account. You could just scrape Facebook which is probably what CA did in the first place. They used the app to identify US users and from there on just scrape the pages using a headless browser and multiple proxies.

Unless I’m doing something wrong, a developer account makes this sort of thing harder: you can’t just access anyone’s data, you have to convince them to authorize your app first. . . Which is probably why there’s all these “find which star wars character you are!” quizzes that make the rounds on FB.

It's a little easier than getting everyone to sign up, back at the time this app was circulating if you gave it access to your data the app would also gain access to all of your friends' data. That's why a relatively small number of installs allowed it to hoover up huge amounts of data. So even if you were militant about not granting access, but your grandma clicked a button... Whoops!

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