iOS 14 privacy feature leads to lawsuit against Instagram and Facebook for allegedly spying on users

ios 14 leading to lawsuit against insta and facebook Rect

Not even a week since launch, Apple’s iOS 14 operating system ha already lead to a lawsuit against Facebook accusing it of spying on users via Instagram by tapping into the iPhone camera. iOS 14 alongside more noticeable changes such as widgets, includes a new suite of privacy controls and indicators for users.

On the new operating system, whenever an app, either 3rd party or stock accesses your camera, a green indicator appears in the status bar and in the control center, if an app accesses your microphone, an orange indicator appears. In July during the beta testing period for iOS 14, it was revealed that Instagram was accessing the iPhone camera and microphone when users would simply be scrolling the app.

At the time, Facebook who owns Instagram said that the green and orange indicators that signified the app’s access to the microphone and camera were triggered by “a bug” within the app. A spokesperson told The Verge at the time:

“We only access your camera when you tell us to — for example, when you swipe from Feed to Camera. We found and are fixing a bug in iOS 14 Beta that mistakenly indicates that some people are using the camera when they aren’t,” the spokesperson said. “We do not access your camera in those instances, and no content is recorded.”

On the public release of iOS 14 the “bug” has been fixed, however, Brittany Conditi, the plaintiff of a brand new lawsuit in the Northern District of California isn’t forgetting about it. The lawsuit filed on Thursday alleges that Instagram uses the microphone and camera to monitor users without their permission for one specific reason.

Defendants abused their ability to access users’ smartphone cameras, and committed egregious privacy violations, for one specific reason: to increase their advertising revenue. By obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own home, Defendants are able to target users more than ever before.

Lawsuit

The lawsuit quotes Forbes saying that iOS 14 is a “game-changer” for privacy due to these new features and goes on to mention how Facebook has been vocal about them.

Facebook has acknowledged the impact that Apple’s update to its operating system will pose to its potential advertising revenue, which it earns through its extensive data collection. Since Apple began rolling out its latest operating system update, which gives users unprecedented control over their own data, Facebook has begun meeting with its most notable advertising partners to discuss its potential repercussions.

The lawsuit says that Facebook’s actions “constitute an egregious violation of Plaintiff’s and Class members’ privacy rights” and breaks the California Consumer Privacy Act. You can read the full lawsuit below coutrsey of AppleInsider.

Conditi v. Instagram by Mike Wuerthele

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Sami
Sami started falling in love with Apple in 2010 with the iPhone 4S. As a registered developer, he deeply admires the world of Apple. Sami is an aspiring journalist, writer, and actor. He also has devoted his life to sharing his passion and knowledge with others around the world.