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Facebook users sue Meta for tracking them via in-app browser on iOS devices – report

FB users sue Meta for tracking them on iOS devices via a workaround
Source: Pixabay

Users in the United States have sued Facebook’s parent company Meta for allegedly tracking them via an in-app browser on iOS devices, despite Apple’s strict privacy policies.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, claimed that Meta tracks users’ online activities by “funneling them into the web browser built into Facebook and injecting JavaScript into the sites they visit”.

According to TechCrunch, that code allows the company to monitor “every single interaction with external websites.”

Last year, Apple released iOS 14.5 with a major iOS privacy update that prevented third-party apps like Facebook from tracking user behavior and browsing history using the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature.

According to the lawsuit, Meta snooped on users “via a workaround.”

According to the report, the proposed class-action lawsuit “could allow anyone affected to sign on, which in Facebook’s case could mean hundreds of millions of US users.”

According to it, Meta is not only breaking Apple’s policies, but also state and federal privacy laws.

According to a Meta spokesperson, the allegations are “without merit,” and the company will fight them in court.

“We have carefully designed our in-app browser to respect users’ privacy choices, including how data may be used for ads,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s founder and CEO, has admitted that Apple’s iOS privacy changes will cost the company a whopping $10 billion by 2022.

Meta has also claimed that Apple’s privacy policies favor Google over app-based platforms like Facebook.

“We believe those restrictions from Apple are designed in a way to carve out browsers from the tracking Apple requires for apps. So what that means is that search ads could have access to far more third party data, for measurement and optimisation purposes, than app-based ad platforms like ours,” according to Meta.


About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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