back to article Meta iOS apps accused of injecting code into third-party websites

Meta's Instagram and Facebook apps on iOS devices have been injecting JavaScript code into third-party websites from their custom in-app browser, gaining access to data that would be unavailable were those pages loaded in a stand-alone, WebKit-based iOS browser. In-app browsers – implemented in native Android and iOS code …

  1. DS999 Silver badge

    When I look at a website in Facebook

    I always use the "open in Safari" option. Not because of privacy (though that's another reason now I guess) but because Facebook's in-app browser does not use the ad blocker configured for Safari, so the pages run slow because of all the ads they're trying to show.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    "If you trust Meta, you should have no concern that its script might be revised with more pernicious functions."

    Who in their right mind trusts Meta anymore? Even the loonies are suspicious.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: If

      Who in their right mind ever trusted Meta?

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        Re: If

        I trust them absolutely. It's a question of what you trust them *for*, and they are really quite reliable.

        You can trust them to say something like this, for example: "The [intrusion] in question allows us to respect people's privacy". Who else could you be sure would come out with a whopper like that?

  3. Mayday Silver badge


    “The code in question allows us to respect people's privacy“

    Wtf? Surely he doesn’t believe this bollocks himself. Being in this position I’m guessing they were hired solely on their ability to keep a straight face when spurting this crap out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Privacy

      You have to admit Zuckerberg is perfect for that. I am not even sure his face is able to express any emotions - it's a face that botox would reject.

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

        Re: Privacy

        For such a punchable and breakable-looking guy he looks genuinely scary when he's not wearing his finely-honed "hurrr!" camera smile. That expression is very predatory and ruthless. I'd hate to know him IRL.

        1. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: Privacy

          @Vometia has insomnia. Again. "I'd hate to know him IRL"

          I'd also hate to know him in VR (MetaVerse or any other bloody Verse). ;)

    2. Vometia has insomnia. Again. Silver badge

      Re: Privacy

      Just waiting for the inevitable announcement after they eventually get caught: it was "misconfigured" to store the extra data "for testing purposes" but they'll delete it all now, honest; or it was an unnamed rogue dev no longer with the company; or whatever half-arsed excuse they cook up. The number of times they've gone "lol we dun an oopsie, we'll never do it again, pwomise!" and immediately do it again because there's never any meaningful consequences.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Privacy

      Well they did hire a former Olympic bald faced lying silver medallist.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Privacy

        I think that's trumped by FB having a former deputy prime minister as 'president of global affairs' (promoted from VP this Feb)

  4. Jan K.

    There are two Metas?

    "Miscreants aren't only working to exploit flaws in an enterprise's security posture, they're also looking for holes in organizations' privacy programs to steal user data, according to Meta's Scott Tenaglia."


  5. JWLong

    Privacy and Security

    ....I've heard of it.

    That's all though.

  6. Ayemooth

    Alex Russell, a Microsoft Edge partner program manager

    "Alex Russell, a Microsoft Edge partner program manager"

    Is that the same Microsoft Edge that Windows users are dumped into regardless of default browser setting when clicking on any "help" links in the settings app, etc?

    1. Peter D

      Re: Alex Russell, a Microsoft Edge partner program manager

      I've never clicked help but now that I've set every default to chrome I don't see edge very often. When I do I flamethrower my laptop. Edge, in any event, isn't that bad apart from its colour scheme.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Alex Russell, a Microsoft Edge partner program manager

        So you've set one data slurper to be replaced by an even worse one?

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Alex Russell, a Microsoft Edge partner program manager

      I'm enjoying the whole pot-vs-kettle scenario so much, I've put some popcorn on

  7. I'm Brian and so's my wife

    Block, block, block

    I've set up pihole via a Docker image on my Synology NAS that acts as the DNS on the home network. It's a bit fiddly (and potentially pointless as we use WhatsApp), but at least regular web browsing is a tiny bit safer.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All part of the Fecalbook war against Apple

    They lost millions... maybe even a billion because of Apple's Ad blocking.

    This is their way of showing ADs to IOS uses and giving the big finger to Apple.

    It must be time for Apple to throw out all Meta apps from the App Store.

    It matters little to me as I blocked everything from ZuckFace years ago.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: All part of the Fecalbook war against Apple

      Unfortunately for Apple, a large amount of their users use Meta apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram and therefore banning those apps on iOS would make a lot of people move to Android where they are still available and this would ultimately hurt Apple more than it would Facebook.

      Personally i don't have instagram or facebook apps on my phone, if i want to use those apps i fire up Firefox with Ublock origin addon and use them there. But i haven't been on facebook in months.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: All part of the Fecalbook war against Apple

        It might do that. However, it depends whether loyalty to iBranded shiny is greater than addiction to FB's take on social media. Both are strong and I'm not convinced either is amenable to rational analysis.

      2. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

        Re: All part of the Fecalbook war against Apple

        Perhaps an alternative would be to put a wrapper around the app (Apple does have to do certain steps to get it into the store) which puts up a huge full screen warning about potential privacy issues. So every time the user opens the App, they get informed that there's a privacy problem.

        Meta can't afford to lose all Apple customers so wouldn't be able to pull the apps, and Apple wouldn't be losing users to Android (not many at least), as those that don't care can carry on.

      3. nautica Silver badge

        Re: All part of the Fecalbook war against Apple

        ...thought it is supposed to be spelled, "Faecesbook", but both work just fine.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We intentionally developed this code to honor people’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) choices on our platforms ... The code allows us to aggregate data before it is used for targeted advertising or measurement purposes."

    I wonder what Susie Dent's take on Meta's redefinition of 'hono[u]r' is!

  10. Johnb89

    Preventing the cure

    "We prevented murders, you see, by killing everyone before they could be murdered. You should really be thanking us."

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like