His research focused on the iOS versions of Facebook and Instagram. This is important because Apple allows users to turn app tracking on or off when they first launch it with the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature introduced in iOS 14.5. Meta previously said the feature was a “headwind to our business in 2022… valued at about $10 billion.” As it turned out, the company was at least partially able to circumvent this limitation.
In turn, Meta said that the tracking code corresponds to the settings of users in ATT.
“The code allows us to aggregate user data before using it for targeted advertising or measurement purposes,” said a Meta representative in a comment to The Guardian. “We do not add any pixels. Code is injected so that we can aggregate conversion events from pixels. For purchases made through the in-app browser, we seek user consent to save payment information for the purposes of autofill.”
According to the researcher, WhatsApp does not use such practices and does not modify third-party websites, although it also has a built-in browser. So Krause suggests Meta do the same with Facebook and Instagram, or simply use Safari or another standard browser to open the links.