Facebook Sued in US For Allegedly Tracking Users via In-App Browser

On the counts of personal privacy violation, two people from the US have been suing Facebook and it’s parent company, Meta, for allegedly tracking them online with their apps.

More specifically, the duo complains that Facebook is circumventing Apple’s app tracking policy by redirecting users to it’s internal app browser, where the company tracks every digital move of users. This includes all the sensitive data entered on those pages, aside from the digital interests for targeted ads.

Suing Facebook For Privacy Violation

In April last year, Apple introduced a new policy called App Tracking Transparency – which forces apps to ask explicit permission from users to collect their data for ads before serving them. And services can’t be denied if the user decides to decline the tracking request.

As it puts the users’ privacy over anything, apps, especially social media services like Facebook that rely heavily on user data for targeted ads, are heavily affected. Meta openly stated that it’s estimating a loss of $10 billion in revenue due to Apple’s new policy.

But, it was found that Meta apps – Facebook and Instagram – are tracking users’ digital interests even after being blocked from the request! This was surfaced by a security researcher named Felix Krause last month, who detailed that Facebook and Instagram are redirecting users to open links in their in-app browsers – where they have full control of the users’ activity.

Based on this, a duo in the US is now suing Facebook and it’s parent company Meta for privacy violations at the District Court for the Northern District of California. They allege that Meta evaded Apple’s App Tracking Transparency restrictions by tracking users through Facebook’s in-app browser, as explained above.

They stated that all the details entered in the in-app browser, including the passwords, are monitored by Meta – without letting the users know. As it’s Illegal to violate their Wiretap Act (intercept electronic communications without consent), the duo filed a class-action lawsuit and invited others to join with a simple sign.

With Meta’s user base in the US, this count could be millions of users as plaintiffs adding to the lawsuit – all getting a piece of penalty if levied against Meta for being found guilty. Well, Meta has already responded to these allegations stating that they were baseless and that they value their user privacy above all.

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