TikTok and Facebook Are Tracking User Data Via In-App Browsers, A Study Shows How They Do It

  • recent report highlighted the use of "custom browsers" by Apple Inc AAPL iOS social apps, calling out Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc META and TikTok for continuing to build their in-app browsers.
  • Software developer Felix Krause pressed the panic button after finding that Meta and TikTok inject code into their browsers. He said it could monitor everything you tap or act as a critical logger, a tool that can gather what a user types, including passwords. 
  • Also Read: Elon Musk Hailed App Signal Ropes In Another Big Tech Critic
  • Meta and TikTok's decision to open outside websites through their browsers show a lack of transparency, he added.
  • Meta and TikTok confirmed that the code exists and denied snooping.
  • TikTok said the code is for "debugging, troubleshooting and performance monitoring." 
  • Meta said the code helps it honor whatever selection the user made in Apple's "ask app not to track" prompt. Using its browser instead of Safari comes with security benefits, Meta added.
  • Experts questioned the companies' need for debugging or performance monitoring on a third-party website. It might leak data by mistake or aid an outside entity in misusing it for nefarious reasons.
  • Recently, Meta's internal documents exhibited that Instagram is acutely lagging in terms of user engagement behind TikTok.
  • Price Action: META shares traded lower by 3.27% at $163.38 in the premarket on the last check Tuesday.
  • Photo by olivier bergeron via unsplash
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