Shocking! Facebook Parent Meta Sued for Skirting Apple Rules to Snoop on iPhone Users

    Facebook parent Meta was sued for allegedly building a secret work-around to Apple safeguards that protect iPhone users from having their activity tracked.
    By: BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on: Sep 22 2022, 23:13 IST
    iPhone moment? Meta smart glasses, in Star Trek style, could launch as early as 2024
    Meta
    1/5 According to a conversation by Meta insiders with the Verge, the venture is called Project Nazare and is scheduled to launch in 2024. It will arrive in three iterations, them being in 2024, 2026 and later in 2028. (Facebook/Meta)
    Mark Zuckerberg
    2/5 Although there is no working prototype yet, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg still wants smart glasses to launch within two years. According to a former employee, Zuckerberg wants the launch of AR smart glasses to be Meta’s own Apple “iPhone” moment. (Bloomberg)
    VR
    3/5 The smart glasses don’t need to be tethered to a mobile phone, therefore avoiding the terms under which apps such as Facebook are mandated to operate. (Bloomberg)
    AR
    4/5 Features such as 70-degree field of view, light weight, eye-tracking movement, front camera and stereo speakers are expected in the first version of smart glasses. Coming to price, it is expected to be subsidized as smart glasses will have a huge development cost. (AP)
    AR
    5/5 Meta has already spent billions of dollars in the development of its AR smart glasses but is expecting the first iteration to have low sales. Along with Meta, companies like Apple have also already begun work towards development of smart glasses and it aims to launch its Mixed Reality glasses as early as late this year or in 2023. (REUTERS)
    Meta
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    Meta Platforms Inc. gets sued for breaching the Apple safeguards to protect iPhone users from having their internet activity tracked. (AP)

    Meta Platforms Inc. was sued for allegedly building a secret work-around to safeguards that Apple Inc. launched last year to protect iPhone users from having their internet activity tracked.

    In a proposed class-action complaint filed Wednesday in San Francisco federal court, two Facebook users accused the company of skirting Apple's 2021 privacy rules and violating state and federal laws limiting the unauthorized collection of personal data. A similar complaint was filed in the same court last week.

    The suits are based on a report by data privacy researcher Felix Krause, who said that Meta's Facebook and Instagram apps for Apple's iOS inject JavaScript code onto websites visited by users. Krause said the code allowed the apps to track “anything you do on any website,” including typing passwords.

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

    According to the suits, Meta's collection of user data from the Facebook app helps it circumvent rules instituted by Apple in 2021 requiring all third-party apps to obtain consent from users before tracking their activities, online or off.

    Apple's privacy changes cut deep into Meta's ability to collect user data from iOS users, costing it $10 billion in its first year, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    The Facebook app gets around Apple privacy rules by opening web links in an in-app browser, rather than the user's default browser, according to Wednesday's complaint.

    “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,” according to the suit.

    Meta didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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    First Published Date: 22 Sep, 23:12 IST
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