Analysis Says Instagram Can Watch What You Do Online Understand

Analysis Says Instagram Can Watch What You Do Online Understand

Instagram can track the activity that iPhone (iOS) users keep on the web, even on pages not directly linked to the app. The information was published last Wednesday (10) by the founder of the automation app Fastlane.tools, Felix Krause. According to the programmer’s analysis, to do this tracking, the Instagram and Facebook apps for iPhone will open the shared links on their platforms using a parallel browser instead of Safari, Apple’s default browser.

In practical terms, this means that when users open ads or links sent via DM, Meta can collect interactions that take place on that site – such as text selections, clicks, and even passwords and credit card information (in cases of purchase). a take you Ask for Instagram advice for an official position. In response, the company stated that the “claims are false” and that they “distort the way the browser works within apps” (see full note at the end of the article). Next, understand how this external app tracking will work.

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Understand how Instagram can track user activity on external websites clicked from within the app – Photo: Reproduction / Unsplash

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How does this Instagram tracking work on iPhone?

Tracking happens through JavaScript code called Meta Pixel. This is actually a service that allows websites to collect information about the behavior of their visitors. Among the data that is monitored are clicks on ads, pages visited through those clicks, and products purchased. Although this practice is legal and has already been defined by Meta, in these cases pixels are used even on pages that have not opted for the service.

The report initially revealed that the use of the code violated the privacy feature of iOS App Tracking Transparency, which requires all apps to ask users for permission before collecting data. However, according to an update by Felix Krause on Thursday (11), Meta sent a note explaining that the pixel does not work in the apps of users who have chosen not to track activity on iOS — that is, if you decline such tracking, the code does not apply to your account.

If you have already given the app tracking well, you must first delete Instagram and then download it again. Then, when logging in, select the option “Ask the app not to be tracked”, which appears in the first logins. It is worth noting that this feature has been available since iOS 14.5.

Also, according to the analysis, browsers like Safari, Chrome, and Firefox have some means to avoid tracking – like blocking third-party cookies, for example. Using Instagram’s private browser, the social network will look for a way to continue monitoring users’ interaction with external sites. The situation is problematic because the social network has a billion active users, and by tracking on external sites through the application, it manages to collect a huge amount of data.

Notably, the analysis wasn’t able to confirm what content Meta actually accessed: “I just wanted to show you what kind of information they could get without your knowledge. As we’ve seen in the past, if the company could get the data for free it would,” Krause explained. This is without asking permission.

How do you protect yourself from tracking?

According to the analysis, to protect yourself from this tracking on Instagram, the user should avoid viewing external websites through the application – that is, instead of opening a link within the application, it is recommended to search for the page directly in Safari. If this button is not available, you can also copy and paste the URL to open the link in your browser.

Another way to protect yourself is to replace the app with the web version of Instagram, which you can access from your cell phone. It offers similar features to the app and may be more secure in some cases. Also, it is worth noting that when using any iOS app, the ideal for your safety is to ask the app not to track your activity.

“These claims are false and distort the way the browser operates within the Meta and Pixel apps. We developed this code intentionally to respect people’s choices regarding the transparency of app tracking on our systems,” a Meta spokesperson said. A link where you can find information about meta-pixel.

How to protect yourself from being tracked on Instagram – Photo: Pond5

with information from Felix Krause And the Mac rumors

see also: Four things Instagram knows about you

4 things Instagram knows about you.

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