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More iOS apps found to be leaking data to Facebook even if you don’t have it on your phone

by Felix Omondi
News Feed FYI: Building for All Connectivity

So you heard Facebook was caught pants down feeding teens research app under the guise of a free VPN service. Perhaps you also heard of all the previous user data privacy and security breaches the social network giant has been involved in. Then you might have decided that enough is enough and uninstall Facebook app even possibly deleted your Facebook account.

Well, it turns out all of that might not be enough. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has unearthed a long list of iOS apps that keep collecting your information and sends them to Facebook. They do so whether you have the social network app installed on the iPhone or not.

The WSJ is reported to have examined at least 70 of the most popular iOS app on the App Store and established that they do send users’ personal information to Facebook. It would seem like Apple’s payback move of pulling Facebook’s enterprise certificate out of the App Store was just too little, too late.

The iOS app leaking data to Facebook

Facebook continues to suck in as much data on as many users as possible. Some of the apps identified by the WSJ include:

Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, which is reported to be telling Facebook when the user is having her periods and if she is trying to get pregnant. So why would Facebook need this kind of information? Well, to serve you targeted ads on your News Feed about tampons, and successful pregnancy treatments.

Instant Heart Rate, a top heart-rate monitor app for iOS is also sending users’ data to Facebook about their heart conditions.

With this information, Facebook can serve you with highly targeted ads. Ever felt like whenever you go online on Facebook, you keep getting Ads as if they read your mind? Well, some other app on your phone (if not the Facebook app) has been keeping tabs on your data, and send you ads relevant to what you have been doing, viewing, listening to, and watching among others.

In a statement sent to CNBC, Facebook said: “Sharing information across apps on your iPhone or Android device is how mobile advertising works and is industry standard practice.

The issue is how apps use information for online advertising. We require app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are sharing with us, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data. We also take steps to detect and remove data that should not be shared with us.”

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