Meta sued for bypassing Apple security to track Facebook users

Facebook users sued Meta for an alleged workaround to Apple's privacy updates that allowed user tracking on iOS devices.

It's been a year since Apple introduced its 'built-in privacy' approach, limiting what app developers can collect about its users.

Unsurprisingly, data-hungry app developers, such as Meta's Facebook, criticized the move.

According to a recent class-action complaint, two Facebook users accused Meta of violating Apple's privacy rules and developing a workaround for the attempted limit on data collection.

The two similar lawsuits filed against Meta last week are based on research by Google engineer Felix Krause, who argued that Instagram and Facebook could track everything users do while using in-app browsers.

"The iOS Instagram and Facebook app render all third party links and ads within their app using a custom in-app browser. This causes various risks for the user, with the host app being able to track every single interaction with external websites, from all form inputs like passwords and addresses, to every single tap," Krause wrote in a blog post.

The plaintiffs allege that Meta bypasses Apple's privacy regulation by automatically directing its users to in-app browsers that the company monitors. For example, if users on Facebook or Instagram apps click on a link, they are directed to the in-app browser and not the device's default browser.

According to the class action lawsuits seen by Cybernews, the plaintiffs claim that even though users do not consent to be tracked by Meta, the app's use of in-app browsers creates the opportunity for the company to siphon users' data.

"The user information Meta intercepts, monitors and records includes personally identifiable information, private health details, text entries, and other sensitive confidential facts," claim the plaintiffs.

Last year, Meta complained that Apple's privacy updates were meant to force "businesses to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue," profiting Apple.

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