Meta Sued Over Tracking iPhone Users Despite Apple’s Privacy Features

Meta is facing a new proposed class action lawsuit that accuses it of tracking and collecting personal data from iPhone users, despite features and policies made by Apple that are meant to stop the same type of tracking.

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In August, it was revealed that Meta with Facebook and Instagram apps can track all of a user’s keystrokes, keyboard inputs and more when using the in-app browser. When a user clicks on a link on Instagram, for example, Meta can monitor their interactions, text selection, and even text input such as passwords and private credit card information on that site.

This practice of tracking users is a direct violation of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy, which requires apps to ask for user consent before tracking them across apps and websites owned by other companies.

Filed Wednesday in San Francisco federal court, a new lawsuit accuses Meta of this violation, as reported by The Bloomberg Act. The proposed class-action lawsuit accuses Meta of violating Apple’s ATT framework and state and federal laws by collecting user data without user consent in its Facebook and Instagram apps.

In most apps on the ‌iPhone‌, developers use Apple’s Safari to open links in their apps. However, Meta has developed a tailored in-app browser based on Apple’s WebKit framework for Instagram and Facebook. Meta’s browser allows it to inject a tracking JavaScript code named “Meta Pixel” into all displayed links and websites.

The lawsuit accuses Meta of using the in-app browser on Facebook and Instagram as a way to circumvent rules enforced by Apple to prevent unwanted tracking of users. “This enables Meta to intercept, monitor and record its users’ interactions and communications with third parties and provide data to Meta that it collects, analyzes and uses to boost its advertising revenue,” the lawsuit states, according to the suit. The Bloomberg Act.

Since its introduction in June 2021, Meta has been a staunch opponent of Apple’s ( ATT ) policy, arguing that it would hurt small businesses that rely on personalized ads.

Meta argued in a full-page newspaper ad that Apple was hurting small businesses’ ability to grow because if users opt out of tracking, they are less likely to see ads tailored and recommended to them. Apple’s ATT framework has had an impact on Meta’s business as it is expected to lose $10 billion in revenue this year alone.


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