And the privacy? Meta accused of tracking iPhone users even with iOS protection

Apple has introduced new privacy features that prevent users from tracking (learn more here), which already worried Facebook in August 2020 about the immense damage that could be caused. However, now Meta is being accused of circumventing that restriction to monitor the use of its apps on the iPhone.

According to an analysis, apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook can track users with details like typing, screen taps, and even sensitive information entered into the apps’ internal browsers, including passwords, credit card details, and more.

This violates Apple’s App Tracking Transparency that was introduced in iOS 14.5, which requires apps to request permission to track users. This prompted a class-action lawsuit reported by Bloomberg Law, accusing Meta of violating even state and federal laws by collecting data without users’ consent.

Tracking is done using a tracking Javascript code called Meta Pixel, which is present in the built-in browser of Facebook and Instagram. Just note that links from these apps are not opened in Safari, but in an integrated browser that is used to circumvent Apple’s rules.

The data collected is used to send targeted advertising to users, one of Meta’s main revenue streams through Facebook and Instagram. To give you an idea, Meta is estimated to lose about $10 billion in revenue in 2022 alone from iOS tracking blocking.

Thus, this is a fight that involves much more than the privacy of users, but also a lot of money, which will certainly motivate Meta to fight to maintain its earnings with targeted advertising.

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