Meta is being sued for reportedly developing a secret workaround to safeguards introduced by Apple last year to prevent iPhone users’ internet activities from being traced.

The complaint was filed in a proposed class-action on Wednesday, September 22, in San Francisco federal court.

Two Facebook users charged the firm with breaking state and federal laws against the unlawful gathering of personal data, as well as Apple’s 2021 privacy policies.

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Data privacy expert Felix Krause argues Meta’s Facebook and Instagram apps for Apple’s iOS inject JavaScript code onto sites browsed by users.

Krause said the code allowed the applications to follow “anything you do on any website,” including password entry.

A Meta spokesperson said the accusations are “without merit,” and the firm will defend itself.

The company said: “We have designed our in-app browser to respect users’ privacy choices, including how data may be used for ads.”

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The suits claim Meta’s gathering of user data from the Facebook app allows it to avoid regulations imposed by Apple in 2021.

It mandates all third-party apps to get user consent before tracking their online or offline histories.

Because of Apple’s changes, Meta expects to lose $10 billion in ad revenue in 2022.

In the complaint filed on Wednesday, the Facebook app circumvents Apple privacy rules by generating web links in an in-app browser instead of the user’s default browser.

The suit states: “This allows Meta to intercept, monitor and record its users’ interactions and communications with third parties, providing data to Meta that it aggregates, analyzes, and uses to boost its advertising revenue.”

Source: Bloomberg

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