Facebook is currently being sued after allegations surfaced that it has been spying on Instagram users by making unauthorised use of their mobile phone cameras. The social media giant acquired Instagram in 2012.
The lawsuit originates from media reports that began surfacing in July, stipulating that the app was making use of iPhone cameras even when they were not in active use.
Facebook has denied these claims and say a “bug” is to blame. The said bug reportedly triggers false notifications informing iPhone users that Instagram is accessing their cameras.
A complaint was filed in federal court in San Francisco in Thursday, September 17 by New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi, who contends that the app’s use of the camera is intentional and is done to collect information on its users that it would otherwise not 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”, says the complaint.
In another lawsuit, Facebook has also been accused of using facial-recognition technology to illegally harvest biometric data from more than 100-million Instagram users. Facebook has denied this claim as well, and maintains that Instagram does not make use of facial recognition technology.