Meta’s Pixel Tool Embedded Inside UK's Met Police Website Passed On Victims’ Private Details To Facebook For Ad Targeting

One of the UK’s largest police forces provided victims' sensitive information to Facebook via an embedded Meta Pixel Tool, a new investigation has revealed today.

As per reports from the Observer, the data attained about users of the app were made crystal clear by the tool through tracking means and that’s a clear violation of user’s privacy rights. The information had only been shared for the sake of targeted ads but seeing this get passed on to the Metropolitan police has really raised eyebrows on Meta.

The sensitive information about individuals was taken from the police website via the tool that was embedded inside and entailed all sorts of records regarding the activity of users’ browsing. These were those individuals who used the website to report criminal offenses and incidents like harassment and abuse. But little did they know about the tool for gathering their details. This was then shared with Facebook for the sake of ad targeting.

There was one incident where the company got packets of data when a victim wished to report abuse regarding assault to the police. And this whole time, they thought it was being done in a confidential manner but that was far from the reality of the situation.

Each time they viewed the page, a code was generated, and that was linked to the user’s Facebook ID. But that’s not all. The shocking tool gave out details related to which types of content were being viewed and which buttons had been pressed while contacting the cops.

When the police had been confronted with the investigation by the leading media outlet in the country, they were swift to get rid of the tool that served as a tracker on the website. The police also confirmed how matters like these were never taken lightly and they would be doing everything possible to figure out how exactly this happened. They also claim to be carrying out an investigation on the matter and spoke about it being haunting to see how something like this could ensue.

The Met Police tried to justify the act by adding how it was nothing more than a clear accident. They also felt the addition of the tool on its website had to do with it tracking people who had a keen interest in a potential career in the Met Police. They added that it happened last month only when the tool was installed and now, all their attention and focus was directed to getting rid of the tool as soon as possible to prevent further harm.

Meanwhile, the investigation carried out by the Observer was conducted in several different locations such as Ireland, England, Scotland, and even Wales. And that’s when it discovered shocking findings linked to several police entities using it but the biggest bizarre revelation including seeing the name of the Met Police.

Meta says it never mentioned anything about how it wished to attain sensitive data belonging to users from the UK Police.

H/T: TheGuardian

Read next: Meta Under Fire For Its Privacy Policy As Norweigian Regulator Threatens Firm With $100K Fine Per Day
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