Millions of smartphone users confess their most intimate secrets to apps, including when they want to work on their belly fat or the price of the house they checked out last weekend. Other apps know users’ body weight, blood pressure, menstrual cycles or pregnancy status.
Unbeknown to most people, The Wall Street Journal reports, in many cases that data is being shared with someone else: Facebook.
The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to
Facebook, according to testing done by the The Journal. The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the paper’s testing showed.
It is already known that many smartphone apps send information to Facebook about when users open them, and sometimes what they do inside. Previously unreported is how at least 11 popular apps, totaling tens of millions of downloads, have also been sharing sensitive data entered by users. The findings alarmed some privacy experts who reviewed The Journal’s testing.
In the case of apps, testing showed that Facebook software collects data from many apps even if no Facebook account is used to log in and if the end user isn’t a Facebook member. Read the full story.