New Report Finds People Reveal Personal Information to Apps and Those Apps then Share It with Facebook

People use mobile apps for a number of personal reasons and those apps collect intimate data, which they then pass on to Facebook…

By now, people probably know apps inside of Facebook collect user information. That data is then used to serve-up targeted advertising. Even apps outside the Facebook ecosystem collect user data and also share it with Facebook.

Facebook Mobile Apps Share Sensitive User Data

Now, a recent report from The Wall Street Journal reveals those practices go further. Some apps, like the Flo Health ovulation tracker and Azumio, the most popular third-party heart rate tracker for iOS, use what’s known as “App Events.”

This is a tool provided by Facebook which shares user-submitted information directly with the social network. What’s most unsettling is the fact said information must be submitted voluntarily and manually by their users.

Of course, the data is then passed onto power Facebook’s ad-targeting tools. Which means Facebook can match-up information it collects from the ovulation app directly to real users’ profiles.

At this time, it doesn’t appear there’s a financial arrangement between the social network and these apps. But, the problem is ubiquitous.

The WSJ reports out of 70 apps it monitored, all which rank among the most popular for iOS devices, 11 shared this kind of information with Facebook.

Furthermore, none of them seem to inform users in one way or another of their practices. Moreover, it appears neither Apple or Google are aware of when iOS or Android apps are passing along this type of sensitive data.

Read the whole report by the Wall Street Journal here.

Ashley Lipman

Ashley Lipman is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking.