Facebook Tried To Buy A Spyware Tool To Monitor Its Users

We’ve all encountered instances where we talk about something, only for an ad to appear for that product later on Facebook. The social media giant has long denied that they are spying on its users, but according to a recent report from Motherboard, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t tried.

This is because according to the report, Facebook is said to have approached a spyware company called the NSO Group in an attempt to purchase software that could be used to spy on its users.

For those unfamiliar, NSO creates a spyware software called Pegasus. This software can be used to remotely infect mobile phones and steal data from them, and was previously used by governments to hack WhatsApp. Facebook is currently in a legal battle with NSO over that WhatsApp hacking incident, which is how this information came to light.

In a declaration made by NSO CEO Shaley Hulio, “The Facebook representatives stated that Facebook was concerned that its method for gathering user data through Onavo Protect was less effective on Apple devices than on Android devices. The Facebook representatives also stated that Facebook wanted to use purported capabilities of Pegasus to monitor users on Apple devices and were willing to pay for the ability to monitor Onavo Protect users.”

Facebook later responded to the declaration with their own statement that reads, “NSO is trying to distract from the facts Facebook and WhatsApp filed in court over six months ago. Their attempt to avoid responsibility includes inaccurate representations about both their spyware and a discussion with people who work at Facebook.”

Whether or not that is true is unclear, but Facebook’s actions over the years have certainly painted the company in a bad light with its various privacy-related scandals.

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