Data Security, Privacy

Snapchat user traffic reportedly subjected to secret Facebook surveillance

Facebook user touches on love in Facebook app

TechCrunch reports that Facebook was revealed to have covertly conducted Snapchat network traffic interception and decryption since 2016 as part of the initiative dubbed "Project Ghostbusters" that sought to bolster user behavior analysis and better compete with the instant messaging app.

Such a project, which eventually expanded to facilitate app traffic interception from YouTube and Amazon users, involved kits developed by the team behind the now-defunct Facebook-acquired VPN service Onavo that enabled in-app usage measurements in iOS and Android devices through a man-in-the-middle attack, according to newly unsealed documents part of a class action lawsuit against Facebook parent firm Meta.

Other court documents showed opposition to the project by former Facebook Infrastructure Engineering Head Jay Parikh and former Engineering Security Head Pedro Canahuati.

"No security person is ever comfortable with this, no matter what consent we get from the general public. The general public just doesn't know how this stuff works," Canahuati said in an email that was included in the released documents.

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