Earlier this month, security researcher and former Google employee Felix Krause published a report detailing how Instagram, Facebook, and other apps can use the in-app browser to track people’s online behaviour. Now Krause is back with a tool that can help show users the extent of this tracking.
On the one hand, this probably shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to most people. If apps track what you’re doing in the app, why would that change for the in-app browser? On the other, this could serve as a wake-up call for some and, hopefully, encourage some action to prevent this tracking. That could come from those in control of app stores (for example, Apple could adjust its guidelines to prevent this kind of behaviour or perhaps extend its App Tracking Transparency feature to cover this kind of behaviour).
More likely, users will be on their own to protect themselves. The best way is to avoid using an in-app browser — thankfully, most apps include an option to use the default browser instead, which means whatever link you click will open in your actual browser, not the in-app option.
You can learn more about in-app browser tracking here.