Inside bikini-photo startup Six4Three’s scrappy battle to put Facebook on trial – CNBC

Inside bikini-photo startup Six4Three’s scrappy battle to put Facebook on trial – CNBC

Ted Kramer seemed on edge. While sitting at a Starbucks store recently talking to a reporter, he kept looking over his shoulder mid-conversation, scanning people and cars passing by. For years, Kramer, 35, founder of the now-defunct startup app developer Six4Three, has been involved in a high-stakes legal battle with Facebook. He suspects the technology company has hired people to surveil him, because he says he has seen people taking photos outside his San Francisco apartment. Facebook says the surveillance claim is "absolute fantasy" and denied monitoring Kramer. Kramer's concern is far from the most bizarre thing about his lawsuit, which has prompted an investigation by the British Parliament and shows no sign of resolution. The David vs. Goliath contest pits Kramer's small startup, which in 2013 built a short-lived app to identify Facebook photos of users' friends in bikinis, against one of the most powerful technology companies in the world. Six4Three sued Facebook in 2015 in state court in San Mateo County after Facebook restricted its access to the user data that its app, called Pikinis, and thousands of other apps, relied on to function. Read more from NBC News: Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to ....

Over the course of the case, the social media giant was forced to turn over thousands of pages of internal documents, which show Facebook's years-long efforts to control its competitors by sharing or withholding Facebook user data. The documents — some of which were published by the British Parliament last year and more of which were recently obtained by Duncan Campbell, a British journalist who shared them with NBC News and other media outlets — show how Facebook publicly described its decisions as driven by user privacy concerns, while the company was actually focused on threats from competitors. "It's like we are fishing in this tiny boat with no one else around and we somehow managed to hook a massive great white shark on our line, " Kramer said in his first extensive public comments on the case, a lengthy emailed response to questions that were screened by his attorney. The emails were exchanged between meetings in San Francisco and Redwood City. "We've kept it on the line for four years and have been slowly but surely reeling it in, " Kramer continued in one of the emails. "The more we reel it in, the more tricks it finds to ....

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