Felix Krause’s discovery that Meta’s Facebook and Instagram apps can track iPhone owners on websites hasn’t sat well with some people. Bloomberg reports that users have filed two proposed class action lawsuits accusing Meta of circumventing Apple’s privacy-oriented Application Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature and consequently violating federal and state laws prohibiting unauthorized data collection . Meta allegedly created a solution by injecting a tracking code into websites when you use your browser in the app, allowing you to monitor activity regardless of whether or not you gave the app permission.
Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency as part of the iOS 14.5 update released in April 2021. The technology allows you to ask apps not to track you and requires you to explicitly agree to it. Meta has expressed its opposition. She encouraged users to allow tracking and warned that ATT could cost her $10 billion in ad revenue this year.
Meta denied the allegations in a statement to Engadget. The company said both lawsuits were “meritless” and that it would “vigorously” defend itself. Additionally, it stated that its browsers in the app respect privacy decisions, including for ads.
It is not certain that the lawsuits will obtain class action status, which could lead to compensation for many users. Whether the lawsuits are successful or not, they illustrate the tension between Meta, Apple and privacy advocates: Meta is determined to preserve the targeted advertising that drives its business, even as critics and rival companies raise further objections.
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