A lawsuit in California claims that Meta is unlawfully collecting user data after discovering a workaround to Apple’s privacy policies.
Two Facebook users in the US are suing Meta for allegedly exploiting a loophole in Apple’s privacy settings to track user activity without consent.
The proposed class-action suits could allow anyone from the hundreds of millions of Facebook users to join – in what could be a big blow to the platform.
“This allows Meta to intercept, monitor and record its users’ interactions and communications with third parties, providing data to Meta that it aggregates, analyses and uses to boost its advertising revenue,” according to the suit.
A Meta spokesperson told media outlets in an emailed statement that it denies the allegations made in the lawsuits, saying they are “without merit” and that the company would defend itself “vigorously”.
“We have designed our in-app browser to respect users’ privacy choices, including how data may be used for ads,” the company said.
“The changes are not only negatively affecting our business, but millions of small businesses in what is already a difficult time for them in the economy,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told shareholders while reporting the company’s third-quarter earnings last year.
By November, it was estimated that Apple’s privacy changes cost Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube an estimated $9.85bn in revenue.
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