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Hyderabad: This is something all of us have been through. We search for a camera, mobile phone or even a holiday destination, and sooner or later, there is an ad for the same that shows up on your browser or any other website that you open.

Targeted advertisements aren’t new, but now Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, undoubtedly two social media platforms that most smartphone users have on their devices, is apparently taking this sort of digital snooping a step ahead.

This was revealed by a researcher, Felix Krause, who pointed out that if you visit a website you see on Facebook or Instagram, you are not redirected to your browser of choice but rather a custom in-app browser. It turns out that those browsers inject javascript code into each website visited, allowing Meta to potentially track you across websites, Krause claimed.

“The Instagram app injects their tracking code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads, enabling them to monitor all user interactions, like every button and link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs, like passwords, addresses and credit card numbers,” he said.

His research focused on the iOS versions of Facebook and Instagram, since Apple allows users to opt in or out of app tracking when they first open an app, via its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) introduced in iOS 14.5. Meta has said that the injected tracking code obeyed users’ preferences on ATT, and that for purchases made through the in-app browser, they seek user consent to save payment information, “for the purposes of autofill”.

Krause said if the apps opened a preferred browser like Safari or Firefox, there would be no way to do a similar javascript injection on any secure site. By contrast, the approach now used by the Instagram and Facebook in-app browsers ‘works for any website, no matter whether it’s encrypted or not, he said, adding that Meta should not modify third-party websites. Will Meta listen?

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Android 13 rolled out with new features for Pixel devices

Google has started rolling out Android 13 with many new features, including improved privacy controls, language settings and more, starting with Pixel devices.

Google said Android 13 will roll out to Samsung Galaxy, ASUS, HMD (Nokia phones), iQOO, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Sharp, Sony, Tecno, vivo, Xiaomi and more later this year.

“Android 13 comes with new capabilities for your phone and tablet, like extending app colour theming to even more apps, language settings that can be set on an app level, improved privacy controls…” Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android and Google Play, said in a blog post.

Users can customise non-Google apps to match their phone’s wallpaper theme and colours, making the home screen more cohesive and unique to the style. Android 13 also features an updated media player that tailors its look and feels based on the music or podcast you’re listening to.

New entry-level iPad, M2 iPad Pro may arrive in October

Apple is likely to launch a new entry-level iPad with a larger screen along with an iPad Pro refresh, upgrading the chip from M1 to the M2.

A leaker claimed that the 10th-generation iPad and the iPad Pro will see some changes during the period, reports AppleInsider. In a Naver post by a leaker account, a source from China claimed that an October event could occur and play host to iPad changes. The new 10th-generation iPad is claimed in the leak to have a thinner new design with a more square shape and a flat bezel, unifying the design aesthetic across the entire iPad range. It is also said to have a more prominent display than the existing 10.2-inch screen.
The model could also sport an A14 Bionic chip, support 5G, gain a protruding rear camera bump, and lose the 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple might also upgrade the iPad Pro, the leaker says.

– Dennis Marcus Mathew with agency inputs

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Author: Howard Caldwell