Planning on getting pregnant? Buying a home? Trying to diet successfully? If so, and if you’re using an app on your smartphone to help you manage the process, chances are Facebook is fully aware of it all.
The Wall Street Journal has investigated some of the most popular apps and found that many of them were sending customers’ information directly to Facebook without their knowledge. Some, but not all, of the Apps stopped sharing information with Facebook after the Journal contacted them about such behavior, but the investigation only surveyed 70 out of the millions of apps that exist. Sam Schechner reports:
The Wall Street Journal’s testing of over 70 applications that handle sensitive information turned up 11 that were sending at least some data to Facebook Inc. One had completely stopped doing so after being contacted by the Journal but before Friday’s story. Since the report, four more have reduced or removed transfers of data to Facebook as well.
Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker
16.1 million downloads in last 12 months
Status: Stopped sending
This period tracking app initially sent Facebook FB +1.41% data every time a user logged a period or told the app she intended to get pregnant. The app also would send data when opened, telling Facebook where the user was in her menstrual cycle—ranging from “ordinary” or “period” to “ovulation” and “pregnant.”
After being contacted by the Journal, Flo Health Inc. said it would “substantially limit” data sharing with third-party analytics services and on Sunday said it had deleted Facebook’s software-development kit and asked the company to delete Flo Health users’ data.
Read more here.
Jeremy Jones, CFA
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