Lawsuit accuses Facebook of using mobile phone cameras to spy on Instagram users

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(Getty Images)

Instagram and its parent company Facebook are being sued for allegedly spying on users with their mobile phone cameras.

The lawsuit was filed in a San Francisco federal court Thursday by a New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi who claimed Facebook accesses mobile cameras while users are on the app “to collect lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to.”

“By obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes, [Facebook is] able to increase their advertising revenue by targeting users more than ever before,” the lawsuit alleges.  

“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 lawsuit comes after reports that emerged this summer that an Instagram bug appeared to have allowed the company to access iPhone cameras even when they weren’t actively being used. Facebook at the time said that they were working on addressing the bug. 

This summer Facebook was also sued in a class-action lawsuit for its use of facial recognition technology. Facebook eventually offered $650 million as a settlement.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Tags Data collection Facebook Instagram Lawsuit Social media spying Technology

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