A worrying number of popular Android apps share user data with Facebook without user consent, new research from Privacy International shows (via Financial Times). Here's the worst part: Staying off Facebook doesn't protect you from this. Privacy International, a London-based charity that focuses on improving people's personal privacy, examined 34 popular Android apps, each installed from 10 to 500 million times, between August and December 2018. All of these apps share data with Facebook through its SDK (software development kit), which is fine if the users have in some way consented to this. But the organization intercepted data as it was sent (using a freely available, open-source tool) and found that at least 20 of these apps (roughly 61 percent) "automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens the app."
Facebook is once again coming under public scrutiny over its data privacy policies, this time after a comprehensive report from Privacy International showed how many popular Android apps are sharing personal user data with Facebook. This data sharing usually starts as soon as a user opens up the app, and can occur without even asking for user consent. Even more troubling, this data sharing can happen even if a person does not have a Facebook account, or is logged out of their current Facebook account. The biggest finding from Privacy International is that 61% of apps automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens the mobile app. Privacy International looked at 34 different apps on Android, all of them popular apps such as Trip Advisor or Kayak that are readily available on the Google Play store.
Rights group Privacy International (PI) is once again drawing attention to popular apps like Yelp and Duolingo sending data to Facebook as soon as they are launched and before users can consent to it. The group in December called out 21 popular Android apps for sending data to Facebook as soon as the user opens an app, among them Spotify, Skyscanner, Kayak, Yelp, and Duolingo. It also highlighted that two Muslim prayer apps, Qibla Connect and Muslim Pro, displayed the same behavior. It found the apps automatically send so-called'events data', such as the fact the app is installed, to Facebook's servers before users can give their consent, which PI argues is required under Europe's GDPR. The common thread between the apps is they use the Facebook mobile software developer kit (SDK), a popular mobile analytics platform that provides data about how people are using a mobile app so that developers can target ads.
Data from several Android apps automatically sends data to Facebook - even if the user does not have an account with the social media giant. Apps such as Yelp, Indeed and Duolingo automatically send user information to the company when an Android user opens the app. This flaw was first pointed out by Privacy International in December when an investigation found 23 popular apps all did the same thing. Most firms, including Spotify, Skyscanner and Kayak, have since corrected the issue but a handful have yet to rectify the privacy concern, the report claims. It is also believed the apps for Apple iOS devices also'exhibit similar behaviour'.
Some popular Android apps have been sharing data with Facebook without users' permission, a new study has found. Privacy International, a UK-based campaign group, found that TripAdvisor, Kayak, MyFitnessPal and Skyscanner are just a few of the many Android apps that are sending sensitive user data to Facebook. In some cases, the apps were sharing private data with the social media giant even if users didn't have a Facebook account. Some popular Android apps, like Skyscanner, MyFitnessPal and TripAdvisor, have been sharing data with Facebook without users' knowledge, a new study has found Privacy International conducted a review of 34 popular Android apps and found that at least 21, or 61 percent, of them began collecting data from users as soon as they opened the app - and before users gave permission to do so. 'This happens whether people have a Facebook account or not, or whether they are logged into Facebook or not,' the firm explained.