Meta is being sued for a class action lawsuit in the app tracking transparency effort

Meta is being sued for a class action lawsuit in the app tracking transparency effort ...

After both Facebook and Instagram were found to be using an app tracking transparency approach to track users on the internet, even after they received no permission to do so.

The company is accused non seulement of violating Apple''s privacy rules, clinging to both state and federal laws.

Background

Apple assigns a unique identifier to your device, which does not reveal any details. It allows users to see (for example) that iOS user 30255BCE-4CDA-4F62-91DC-4758FDFF8512 has visited gadget websites, and therefore would be a good target for gadget ads.

They can see that the iOS user 30255BCE-4CDA-4F62-91DC-4758FDFF8512 was shown a ad for a particular product on a particular website and then went to a particular retailer website to buy it, thus that the ad was (likely) successful.

App developers must ask you if they want to allow that tracking. If you say yes (as most people do), then the apps aren''t permitted to use that system.

Metas App Tracking Transparency workaround

Facebook and Instagram each have their own embedded web browsers, which are used when a user taps a link in the app. This means that Meta can track activity in those browsers.

The theoretical risk of this was already well understood, but security researcher Felix Krause uncovered last month some evidence that Meta was doing this.

Both apps injected their tracking codeinto every website shown, especially when clicking on ads. This would enable Meta to monitor all user interactions, like every button & link tapped, text selections, screenshots, and any form inputs, such as passwords, addresses, and credit card numbers.

Krause doesn''t believe Meta is going that far, however. His research did not allow him to see what data the company was collecting, but he was able to confirm that they do extractsomething.

I have no idea how Instagram sends back home enough data. I do have proof that the Instagram and Facebook app actively execute JavaScript commands to inject an additional JS SDK without the users'' consent, as well as tracking the users text selections. If Instagram is doing this already, they might also inject other JS code.

Class action lawsuit

According to Bloomberg, two users have filed a class action lawsuit against Meta.

Meta Platforms Inc. was accused of constructing a confidential work-around to protect iPhone users from being monitored for their internet activity.

Two Facebook users filed a class-action complaint Wednesday in a federal court in San Francisco accused the company of violating Apple''s privacy provisions in 2021 and in violation of state and federal laws limiting the unlawful collection of personal data. A similar complaint was filed last week [.]

Meta acknowledged that the Facebook app monitors browser activity, but denied that it was illegally collecting user data.

When others affected are invited to participate in a class action lawsuit, the defendant must complete an online form if the case is successful, and compensation is paid (which is usually a few dollars per person). A judge must approve the conversion of the lawsuit to a class action.

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