Third-Party Apps Caught Leaking Your Private Data to Facebook

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated July 12, 2021

While Facebook has been in the middle of a number of privacy violations, a report by the Wall Street Journal reveals that third-party apps are just as guilty in some cases. The news publication discovered 11 popular apps that actively share personal data with Facebook.

At the center of the controversy is Facebook’s own App Events analytics tool. The plug-and-play SDK was designed to create custom trackers for user activity. It is meant to be used for targeted advertising and has been implemented in thousands of apps.

According to WSJ’s testing, some apps send sensitive information like weight and menstrual data to Facebook. Flo is one of the biggest offenders and a corresponded from the company has stated that it will limit the use of App Events.

Apps selling data to facebook

Facebook’s own policies warn against collecting “health, financial information or other categories of sensitive information.” The company stated that it will be informing developers of the offending apps about the issue and if they continue to violate rules, action will be taken against them.

A number of developers have already changed their privacy policies after the report by WSJ came out while others chose not to comment. The data sharing controversy is by no means Facebook’s biggest scandals. Facebook’s software development kits are widely abused by app developers, and there are no strict measures in place to restrict tracking in the first place.

The social media platform may have its data collection restricted in Germany, and other governments may follow suit as well. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that it is in the process of directing the Department of Financial Services along with other state agencies to investigate the social media platform’s practices. Third-party apps will also be part of the investigation to identify similar instances of sensitive data sharing.

What do you think about the third-party apps sharing sensitive data to Facebook? Let us know in the comments below. Feel free to share this story through our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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