Two people in the US have filed a lawsuit against Meta for allegedly tracking their digital impressions on iOS even after blocking it from not doing so.
They cite the findings of a security researcher who spotted that Meta apps like Facebook and Instagram are redirecting users to use their in-app browser, which they have full control on. This comes after the apps were blocked by users for tracking via Apple’s ad tracking policy last year.
Circumventing Apple’s App Tracking Transparency
In April last year, Apple introduced a new policy called App Tracking Transparency in its iOS 14.5 – that forces the apps (especially the social media platforms) to explicitly seek permission from users to track them.
As many declined, the affected apps lost their ability to display targeted ads to their users, losing most of their revenue. Meta, especially, has stated that it’ll lose around $10 billion worth of revenue in the coming years due to Apple’s new policy.
While we’re seeing it as one of the affected ones, Meta has since been circumventing Apple’s policy by tracking users through its in-app browser – which is available on both Facebook and Instagram. Users on both platforms are directed to open links in those embedded browsers, which Meta has full control over.
This surfaced by a security researcher named Felix Krause last month, who stated that Facebook and Instagram could even see the passwords typed in those in-app browsers, let alone the cookie data for targeting ads. As it’s unlawful, a duo from the US are suing Meta over privacy violation in the District Court for the Northern District of California.
They formed this as a class-action lawsuit to allow other affected users involved in this, with a simple sign. Considering Meta’s user base in the US, this could be leading to millions of people suing the company for compensation.
Although Meta responded to these allegations as baseless and said they value their user privacy above all, so may counter the lawsuit against them soon.