Facebook continues its streak of invading its users’ privacy. They are currently facing a lawsuit in which user Brittany Conditi claims that Facebook is spying on Instagram users through their phone cameras for marketing research and to collect valuable data. She also claims that Facebook intentionally activated Instagram users’ iPhone cameras without permission, obtaining private and intimate data.
Is This Claim Real?
The issue of whether this really did occur is still being investigated, as the issue arose during iOS 14 beta testing. Users noticed their camera/microphone indicator were activated without warning while using Instagram. Apple said it was due to a bug that mistakenly told iPhone users when an app was using their camera, even when it wasn’t.
With iOS 14 now available to the public, this bug appears to be fixed. The software will now provide users with a “warning dot” when any apps are accessing the user’s iPhone camera while in the background. Also, an orange dot is displayed when the microphone is being used on an iPhone as well.
Facebook has not commented yet on the lawsuit. However, in relation to privacy, Apple has stated:
“Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has been in hot water over user privacy in regards to Facebook and Instagram. In 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal occurred, which caused millions of Facebook users’ data to be leaked. Also, in 2019 there was a security flaw which enabled hackers to retrieve Instagram users’ account details and phone numbers.
As a Facebook and/or Instagram user, you can keep yourself protected by staying up to date with the latest social media and phone updates, privacy policies, and privacy settings.