Test Shows Facebook Begins Collecting Data From Several Popular Apps Seconds After Users Start Consuming Them. Company Also Collects Data of Non-Facebook Users.
Friday February 22, 2019. 05:50 PM , from Slashdot
Millions of smartphone users confess their most intimate secrets to apps. Unbeknown to most people, in many cases that data is being shared with someone else: Facebook. [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; here's an alternative source.] The Wall Street Journal reports: The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to Facebook, according to testing done by The Wall Street Journal. The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the testing showed. In the case of apps, the Journal's testing showed that Facebook software collects data from many apps even if no Facebook account is used to log in and if the end user isn't a Facebook member.
In the Journal's testing, Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, the most popular heart-rate app on Apple's iOS, made by California-based Azumio, sent a user's heart rate to Facebook immediately after it was recorded. Flo Health's Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, which claims 25 million active users, told Facebook when a user was having her period or informed the app of an intention to get pregnant, the tests showed. Real-estate app Realtor.com, owned by Move, a subsidiary of Wall Street Journal parent News Corp, sent the social network the location and price of listings that a user viewed, noting which ones were marked as favorites, the tests showed. None of those apps provided users any apparent way to stop that information from being sent to Facebook. Update: New York Governor Cuomo has ordered probe into Facebook access to personal data.
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