Facebook’s In-app Browser on iOS Tracks ‘Anything You Do on Any Website’

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Users of Apple’s Instagram and Facebook iOS apps are being warned that both use an in-app browser that allows parent company Meta to track ‘every single tap’ users make with external websites accessed via the software. Researcher Felix Krause, who outlined how Meta tracks users in a blog posted Wednesday, claims that this type of tracking puts users at “various risks”. He warns both iOS versions of the apps can “track every single interaction with external websites, from all form inputs like passwords and addresses, to every single tap” via their in-app browsers. Meta’s Use of a JavaScript Injection “The Instagram [and Facebook] app injects their JavaScript code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads. Even though pcm.js doesn’t do this, injecting custom scripts into third party websites allows them to monitor all user interactions, like every button & link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs, like passwords, addresses and credit card numbers,” Krause wrote. A PCM.JS code, according to the researcher, is an external JavaScript file injected into websites viewed within the in-app browser. The code is used by both apps and enables both apps to build a communication bridge between in-app website content and the host app. Additional technical information regarding the PCM.JS can be found here. Meta responded to Krause’s research with a statement published by The Guardian: “We intentionally developed this code to honour people’s…

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