NIXsolutions: Facebook Secretly Intercepted Snapchat Users’ Traffic Using VPN

A recent lawsuit has shed light on Meta’s clandestine practices, exposing Facebook’s covert monitoring of competitors’ traffic to gain a competitive edge. TechCrunch reports, citing court documents from a California federal court, reveal Meta’s efforts to analyze network traffic and user interactions with rivals such as Snapchat, Amazon, and YouTube.

NIX Solutions

Project Ghostbusters Unveiled

Within these documents, details emerge about Facebook’s Project Ghostbusters, a facet of the In-App Action Panel (IAPP) program. This initiative involved intercepting and decrypting encrypted app traffic from competitors’ users, allowing Facebook insights into user behavior previously obscured by encryption.

Challenges and Controversies

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s directive to his team in 2016 to seek innovative methods for competitive intelligence marked a pivotal moment. The proposal from the team behind Onavo, a service acquired by Facebook, outlined the installation of modules on iOS and Android devices to intercept traffic, facilitating the monitoring of application usage.

Privacy Concerns and Legal Ramifications

The utilization of a “Man in the Middle” approach, akin to methods employed by hackers, raises significant privacy concerns. Despite encryption barriers, Facebook expanded its monitoring program to include Amazon and YouTube, prompting a class-action lawsuit in 2020 alleging fraudulent data collection practices and misrepresentation of efforts to combat competitors, notes NIXsolutions.

As developments unfold in this legal saga, we’ll keep you updated on the implications for data privacy and competitive practices in the digital landscape.