Meta Class Action Alleges Facebook Intercepts, Monitors, and Logs Incognito Browsing Activity

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Meta-Privacy Class Action Overview:

  • Who: Plaintiffs Gabriele Willis and Kerreisha Davis filed a class action lawsuit against Meta Platforms Inc.
  • Why: Through its Facebook app, Meta allegedly intercepted, monitored and recorded private browsing activity without users’ consent.
  • Where: The Meta class action lawsuit was filed in federal court in California.

Meta Platforms Inc., the operator of Facebook, has been the subject of a class action lawsuit alleging that it intercepts, monitors and records users’ browsing activity and communications without their consent.

Plaintiffs Gabriele Willis and Kerreisha Davis filed the Meta class action claiming that Meta tracked and intercepted their browsing activity and private communications with third-party websites without their knowledge or consent.

Willis and Davis say they believed their communications, which would include text entries, passwords and other personally identifiable and confidential information, were private and would not be intercepted or tracked by Meta.

Meta has a ‘history’ of privacy breaches, Meta class action claims

The Meta class action alleges that Facebook has “a history of seeking profit at the expense of its users’ privacy.” The plaintiffs claim that Meta’s business strategy is to collect advertising revenue and engage in data mining for profit.

Meta’s business model would involve connecting advertisers to user data, which allows Meta to maximize profits by serving targeted advertisements.

“This business model, which depends on access to detailed information about its users, has led Meta to violate the right to privacy of its users for many years by using plug-ins, cookies, Facebook Beacon, the Facebook Like button, Facebook Pixel, and other data mining tactics,” the Meta class action says.

Meta class action says company injects JavaScript code to evade privacy restrictions and track user activities

When a Facebook app user clicks on a link to an external website, Meta redirects the user to an in-app web browser instead of the device’s default web browser, allowing Meta to monitor user interactions, according to the Meta class action.

The plaintiffs claim that Facebook began injecting JavaScript code into its built-in browsers to allow it to manipulate third-party websites and track user activities. The JavaScript code would also allow Facebook to evade Apple iOS privacy restrictions that were implemented in April 2021 and required app makers to obtain informed consent from users before tracking their outside activities.

Meta does not notify Facebook users of this tracking activity, which it would also impose on users who opted out of being tracked, according to the plaintiffs.

Another one Meta Class Action was filed recently with similar allegations that Meta uses JavaScript injection as a workaround to evade Apple iOS privacy restrictions.

What do you think of the Meta class action claims that the company tracks users’ web activity without their consent? Join the discussion in the comments!

Plaintiffs are represented by Adam E. Polk, Jordan Elias, Simon S. Grille and Kimberly Macey of Girard Sharp LLP.

The Meta privacy lclass legal action is Gabriele Willis, et al. vs. Meta Platforms Inc.Case No. 3:22-cv-05376, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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