Apps makers are sharing sensitive personal information (Including ovulation-tracking and real estate apps) with Facebook but not telling users - Because its only intended to better target adverts
Facebook is getting ahold of sensitive personal information that smartphone owners submit to entirely separate mobile apps, thanks to a software tool that immediately shares that data with the social network to improve ad targeting, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. It’s long been known that apps outside of Facebook’s ecosystem can and do willingly share data with the company to make it easier to reach existing and new users on the platform through ads. Yet the WSJ report highlights a particularly privacy-violating behavior by health and fitness apps where the information shared can be anything from diet and exercise activities to a user’s ovulation cycle and whether they intend to get pregnant.
According to the report, app makers like ovulation tracker Flo Health and Azumio Inc., the maker of the most popular third-party heart rate tracker on iOS, use what’s known as “App Events,” a Facebook-provided tool that shares sensitive, user-submitted data directly with the social network that, in most cases, a user must manually submit. That data is then used to inform Facebook’s ad-targeting tools, which it provides to those same developers and others so they can reach existing and new users when they’re browsing Facebook. In the case of Flo Health, Facebook is effectively matching information it collects from the software’s ovulation-tracking feature to real profiles, the Journal says, users it can then potentially label as a viable target for ads regarding expecting mothers and new parents.
The stories never stop, which a glimpse of how deep Facebook's revenue model is built up around monetisation of adverts. The monetisation is not just intended to keep the platform running, it really appears to go a lot deeper than that in terms of squeezing every last drop of cash out of the data.
Earlier this month, the UK government issued a lengthy and damning report concluding that Facebook was no longer fit to govern itself and that a regulatory body should step in. The report said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of one of the world’s biggest companies.” Apparently Mark Zuckerberg has now agreed to meet with UK Ministers about the report.
|Apps makers are sharing sensitive personal information with Facebook but not telling users
Including ovulation-tracking and real estate apps.