We as a people have largely decided that our privacy is but a small price to pay for convenience and entertainment. Where we once heard conspiracy theories about maniacal leaders wanted to impact tiny RFID chips in our arms, we now gladly walk around with a GPS-enabled recording device in our pocket.
And, when it’s not in our pocket, we’re either staring right at it or inputting personal information into it.
Worse still is the fact that we have no idea what some of these applications are really using our phones for, thanks to the “terms and conditions” that we sign without ever really reading them.
This week, a new lawsuit was announced that should terrify social media users en masse.
Facebook Inc. is again being sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthorized use of their mobile phone cameras.
The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren’t actively being used.
Facebook denied the reports and blamed a bug, which it said it was correcting, for triggering what it described as false notifications that Instagram was accessing iPhone cameras.
In the complaint filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco, New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi contends 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.”
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,” according to the complaint.
When asked for a comment, Facebook declined.
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