Applications send intimate user data to Facebook – report – Punch Newspapers


A news report on Friday said many smartphone apps are sending out highly personal information, such as menstruation and body weight on Facebook, without alerting users.

The Wall Street Journal based on its own internal tests showed that personal data could be shared with Facebook using a tool designed to help advertisements targeting, even if the application users were not members of the top social network.

The information gathered from the applications included personal details about body weight, pregnancy status, ovulation and home purchase, according to the journal Journal.

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Facebook said that data sharing on apps on iPhone or Android devices is based on industry practice when it comes to how mobile advertising works.

Facebook spokesperson Nissa Anklesaria said in response to one AFP "We require application developers to be clear with their users about the information they share with us, and we are preventing app developers from sending us sensitive data."

He added, "We also took steps to crawl and subtract data that they should not share with us."

The newspaper said his tests showed at least 11 popular applications that had, in total, downloaded tens of millions of times sharing information for users, often without revealing the practice apparently or directly.

According to the report, California-based Facebook said some of the common data found appeared to violate business terms that lead application makers not to send social health, financial "or other categories of sensitive information".

The application developers identified in the report were getting a word from Facebook to stop sending data that is considered sensitive, according to the magazine.




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