Facebook the world-famous social media platform is once again in courts for another lawsuit. This time the company is being sued for wrongful use of mobile phone cameras. It is a major privacy breach if the defendant is proven guilty. It could even cost facebook a huge amount of money in that case.
This lawsuit comes after recent media reports about the Instagram application spying on iPhones users. The picture-based social media platform was accessing camera for iPhone users even when it was not in use. This caused a lot of fear and outrage in the users.
Facebook was prompt to issues a comment on the issue. They said that the issue was merely a bug and all the reports about them spying on users were false. Facebook said that the notifications about camera triggers were false as well and they are working on a fix for this issue.
Internet security and governance are some of the major issues in our society at the time. More importantly, social media platforms already track our behaviors. they then show each user personalized advertisements based on their browsing habits. While this data is anonymous human faces are not and it is one important concern for Facebook to understand.
In addition, modern AI and Machine Learning algorithms have progressed so far that they can even fool some of the top-notch facial recognition software. They do this by creating deepfakes, which is essentially a merged image of two faces. If the social media platforms were to sell your facial data to such companies by mistake that could mean a lot of problems.
These are some of the serious issues which came with the report. Consequently, Instagram user Brittany Conditi filed a complaint in the federal court in San Francisco new jersey on Thursday. The complaint talks against Facebook’s access to the camera in the user’s phones.
According to the recently filed complaint. Facebook planted this bug intentionally to steal “lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to.” You might ask why it affects the average user. well, the complaint says 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 is yet to issue a comment on this issue after the case filing. We don’t think we’ll hear from them anytime soon. They will probably defend their narrative in the courts. While as surprising and shocking this sounds. This is not the first time the Social Media giant is being sued for wrongful use of consumer data.
In a case filed about a month ago. We discovered that the Facebook application was using facial recognition data from around 100 million Instagram users. According to the details of this case Facebook was harvesting biometric information from this stolen data. In their reply, Facebook denied this accusation and claimed that Instagram doe snot use the al Recognition Feature.
Coming back to our main story the recent case titled Conditi v. Instagram, LLC, 20-cv-06534, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California will have a hearing in the feature. We will have to wait for that to happen to get a statement from Facebook on this issue.
Till then it is always a good practice to allow application access to the camera and microphone only while you’re using them. It a feature introduced in both of our major smartphone operating systems Android and iOS. In addition to that lookout for any badly behaving applications on your phones and uninstall them as soon as possible.