Felix Krause’s revelation that Meta’s Facebook and Instagram apps can track iPhone owners on various websites hasn’t pleased some people. Bloomberg reports that users have filed two class-action lawsuits accusing Meta of evading Apple’s privacy-oriented App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature and violating federal and state laws prohibiting unauthorized data collection.
Meta has allegedly created a workaround by embedding tracking code into websites when you use its built-in browser. It allows tracking activity regardless of whether you’ve given the app permission.
Apple introduced ATT as part of iOS 14.5, released in April 2021. The technology allows you to ask apps not to track you and requires explicit consent. Meta campaigned vigorously against this. It urged users to enable tracking and warned that ATT could cost it $10 billion in ad revenue this year.
The lawsuits aren’t sure if they will get class-action status, which could result in compensation for many users. Whether the cases are successful, they illustrate the tense relationship between Meta, Apple, and privacy advocates. Nonetheless, Meta is determined to keep the targeted advertising that fuels its business, even as critics and rival companies raise increasing objections.