FB users sue Meta for allegedly tracking iOS users’ data via in-app browser

Social media giant Meta was sued for allegedly bypassing Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework and tracking iOS users’ data, as reported by Bloomberg.

Apple’s ATT went into effect last April, preventing developers from tracking user data unless they have user consent, and Meta has been quite vocal about the iPhone-maker’s privacy changes. Earlier this year, the company said that ATT cause a $10B loss in its revenue in 2022.

Two Facebook users, who filed a proposed class-action complaint in San Francisco federal court this Wednesday, now accuse the social media company of violating Apple’s privacy rules and also state and federal laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Wiretap ACT), by redirecting users to its in-app browser when they click on a web link, instead of opening their default browsers.

‘’Now, even when users do not consent to being tracked, Meta tracks Facebook users’ online activity and communications with external third-party websites by injecting JavaScript code into those sites,’’ the plaintiffs said in the lawsuit. ‘’When users click on a link within the Facebook app, Meta automatically directs them to the in-app browser it is monitoring instead of the smartphone’s default browser, without telling users that this is happening or they are being tracked.’’

A similar complaint was also filed in San Francisco federal court last week.

A Meta spokesperson said that the allegations are ‘without merit’ and it will defend itself ‘‘vigorously’’, as reported by TechCrunch. “We have carefully designed our in-app browser to respect users’ privacy choices, including how data may be used for ads,” the spokesperson added.

The complaints are based on security & privacy researcher Felix Krause’s recent report, according to which Instagram and Facebook’s in-app browsers ‘’track every single interaction with external websites, from all form inputs like passwords and addresses, to every single tap.’’

Written by Tuna Cetin

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