Wall Street Journal: New Scandal about Facebook and iOS apps

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For example, according to an investigative newspaper report, apps send sensitive health data without customer knowledge to Facebook.

So 9to5Mac reports following an article in the Wall Street Journal (Payment barrier) that third-party apps without the consent of the user extremely personal data sent to Facebook, hardly that the apps were put into operation. These can be smartphone programs for weight loss, for blood pressure, body weight or pregnancy and menstrual cycles. But even data on prices for apartments or houses and the like, about which one has recently been informed by means of the app, sometimes hike unfiltered to the largest social network. This works by means of interfaces to various analytics companies, only kilos and cycles are evaluated instead of clicks and links. Some apps claim even in their own privacy statements, the data is treated absolutely discreetly and will not be given to third parties.

This also applies to users who have no Facebook account or are not logged in there. According to its own information, the WSJ has found at least eleven out of 70 popular apps examined that send sensitive data to Facebook in a previously undocumented manner. This is apparently set up by the developers that neither Apple still agree with Android apps Google. One way to circumvent the data transfer, there are not with these apps. Mentioned are, for example, Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, each of which has many millions of users. While some developers are already hoping for improvement, according to the report, Facebook says they use the data to personalize advertising and content on Facebook and for general market research, among others … Facebook is now said to have some of the data transfers in question against terms and conditions violated. The developers of the apps have been asked to stop this.

Apple itself will take action as soon as they hear of a developer who violates the strict privacy policy and guidelines. Google referred to the terms and conditions of the Play Store for the affected Android apps.

Conclusion: Even if one uses in the best faith apps that internally record their own health or financial plans statistically, one must not be sure that not yet unsolicited sensitive data to Facebook & Co. are sent. This shakes the confidence in in itself for reputable held apps and on iOS. It is to be hoped that both the developers and Facebook as well as the platforms of iOS and Android will work together quickly and collectively to remedy the situation, so that users can be sure of what is happening to their data. And that must not be more than what they expressly gave their consent to.

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