Some Facebook users have filed a class action lawsuit against Meta in a US federal court. They believe the social media company App Tracking is circumventing Transparency measures in iOS by tracking users through the in-app browser.
According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit refers to the recent discovery of developer Felix Krause. It found last month that the iOS and Android apps from Instagram, Facebook and Messenger in some cases inject code into the in-app browsers so that users can be tracked. For example, through the added code, the Meta Pixel, Meta can keep track of which text users select, how they scroll and which advertisements are shown. According to Facebook users, the US company is violating both local and US federal law with this code injection.
Meta has responded to the charge, stating to Engadget that it is “unfounded.” The company claims that it respects the privacy preferences that the user has indicated, including in the in-app browser. According to Engadget, it is not yet certain that the lawsuits will move to a class action lawsuit.
Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency in April 2021. Through this feature in iOS 14.5, users can authorize any app to track their activity. This is done via a pop-in, which is shown when an app is opened for the first time. Users can also choose to decline tracking requests by default through the settings menu. Facebook publicly criticized the measure shortly after the announcement of the privacy feature. The company published an open letter in several American newspapers last year containing its complaints.