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Meta has been sued for purportedly creating a secretive work-around for Apple’s iPhone consumer privacy rules launched last year.

A class-action complaint was filed by two Facebook users in federal court on Wednesday. The users allege that Meta dodged Apple’s 2021 privacy protocols and violated federal and state regulations by accumulating consumer data without authorisation.

Felix Krause, a data privacy researcher, claimed that Facebook and Instagram applications insert JavaScript coding into Apple’s operating system when users visit websites. This enables Meta to record and track sensitive and personal consumer data, including credentials.

The cases take place in the US District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco. The cases are officially known as Mitchell v. Meta Platforms Inc., 22-cv-05267 and Willis v. Meta Platforms Inc., 22-cv-05376.

Meta responds

A company representative claimed that all the allegations were ‘without merit’. “We have designed our in-app browser to respect users’ privacy choices, including how data may be used for ads”, he added in an email statement.

According to suits, Facebook collects user data by avoiding regulations imposed by Apple’s user privacy policy in 2021, which requires every third-party application to secure consumer consent before tracking their actions. The company stated that because of Apple’s user privacy policy, Meta would suffer a loss of $10 billion in advertisement revenue.

According to the complaint, Facebook and Instagram actually dodge Apple’s privacy rules by opening web links in an in-app browser instead of the default browser. “This allows Meta to intercept, monitor, and record its users’ interactions and communications with third parties, providing data to Meta that it aggregates, analyzes, and uses to boost its advertising revenue.”

Tip: Irish regulator slaps Meta with €405 million fine