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Instagram User Sues Facebook For Alleged Spying Through Cameras

Facebook is allegedly collecting unauthorized data for market research.
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Facebook is being accused of allegedly spying on Instagram users through the cameras on their mobile phones.

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A complaint filed in federal court in San Francisco by user Brittany Conditi said the social media giant was accessing mobile phone cameras through photo-sharing app Instagram, which Facebook owns, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. 

Conditi said 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 also said 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.”

"For example, [Facebook is] able to see in-real time how users respond to advertisements on Instagram, providing extremely valuable information to its advertisers,” the complaint added. 

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Facebook has not yet issued a statement.

However, last July, there were reports that Instagram appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren’t being actively used.

Facebook has denied those reports and blamed a bug, which reportedly triggered what it called “false notifications” that Instagram was accessing iPhone cameras. The company has since claimed it was fixing those bugs.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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