Wednesday January 02, 2019

Popular Android Apps Still Send Data to Facebook

The fact that Facebook shares data from Android phones, even when users aren't logged in, is no secret. Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram are all baked into my HTC's system image, and it takes work just to keep them disabled. But Privacy International recently tested a wide range of 3rd party Android apps, and the results were surprising. They found that over 61 percent of the apps they looked at transferred data to Facebook "the moment a user opens an app," whether they have an account or not. The user's "Google advertising ID" is usually transmitted as part of the package, which allows Facebook to "paint a fine-grained and intimate picture of people's activities, interests, behaviors and routines, some of which can reveal special category data, including information about people's health or religion." "Opt Out" options had no discernible impact on data sharing, and some apps regularly transmit a remarkable amount of data when running. Thanks to TechSpot for spotting the article. If you're interested in more details, check out the full report, or watch a video presentation on it below:

Facebook places the sole responsibility on app developers to ensure that they have the lawful right to collect, use and share people's data before providing Facebook with any data. However, the default implementation of the Facebook SDK is designed to automatically transmit event data to Facebook... Our findings also raise a number of legal questions.