Lawsuit Accuses Facebook of Spying on Instagram Users with Their Cameras

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook speaks at Georgetown
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty

Tech giant Facebook has been accused of spying on Instagram users via their mobile phone cameras according to a recently filed lawsuit.

The Verge reports that tech giant Facebook is being accused of spying on users of its Instagram photo-sharing app thought the unauthorized use of users’ mobile phone cameras. The lawsuit comes after media reports in July that Instagram appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras when the app was not being used.

Facebook has denied the reports and claimed that the issue was caused by a bug which the company said it was fixing. The bug allegedly caused false notifications in iOS 14 that stated that iPhone cameras were being accessed when they weren’t being actively used.

In the legal complaint filed on Thursday in federal court in San Francisco, an Instagram user from New Jersey named Brittany Conditi alleged that the app’s use of the camera is intentional and done for the purpose of collecting “lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to.”

The complaint alleges that by “obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes,” Instagram and Facebook are able to collect “valuable insights and market research.”

Facebook was accused in a separate lawsuit filed last month of using facial-recognition technology to illegally harvest the biometric data of its more than 100 million Instagram users. Facebook has denied the claim and stated that Instagram does not use facial recognition technology.

The recently filed case is Conditi v. Instagram, LLC, 20-cv-06534, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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