Facebook Secretly Wiretapped Competitors: Documents

Mar 28, 2024 | Political News

Facebook secretly obtained proprietary data from competitors, including Snapchat, according to newly unsealed court documents.

At the request of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook officials developed a program called In-App Action Panel (IAAP) that they deployed in 2016 and which was in use through mid-2019, according to the documents, which include internal emails.

The program utilized cyberattacks to intercept information from Snapchat, YouTube, and Amazon. The program then decrypted the information.

“Facebook’s IAAP Program used nation-state-level hacking technology developed by the company’s Onavo team, in which Facebook paid contractors (including teens) to designate Facebook a trusted ‘root’ certificate authority on their mobile devices, then generated fake digital certificates to redirect secure Snapchat analytics traffic (and later, analytics from YouTube and Amazon) from Snapchat’s servers to Onavo’s; decrypted these analytics and used them for competitive gain, including to inform Facebook’s product strategy; reencrypted them; and sent them up to Snapchat’s servers as though it came straight from Snapchat’s app, with Facebook’s Social Advertising competitor none the wiser,” lawyers said in one of the documents.