Report says certain Android apps send Facebook personal data without obtaining consent

Report says certain Android apps send Facebook personal data without obtaining consent
You have to wonder what is really going on at Facebook when it comes to personal data. An organization called Privacy International has just published a report (via Android Police) that reveals how certain Android apps share your personal data with Facebook, even if you don't have a Facebook account. Between August and December 2018, the organization tested 34 Android apps and found that 20 of them share data with Facebook from the moment you open that app.

The data is sent to Facebook with a unique Google advertising ID that allows the recipient of the data to build a profile of a person based on other apps installed. Looking at this information, even if your name is unknown, your religion, health, gender, activities, interests and routines can be determined. The report found that some apps are sending to Facebook "incredibly detailed and sometimes sensitive" information. One example is fare aggregator Kayak, which sends Facebook information on the flights you searched for on the app, the departure date of any flights you looked up, the airports involved, the number of people traveling, class of tickets and more. Even if you decide to "Opt out of Ads Personalization"
using the settings on Android, the report says that it might not save you from having your data sent to Facebook from third party apps like Kayak, Shazam and others.

Just before the end of the year, Google wrote an email to Privacy International stating that if a user disables "ads personalization" in the device Advertising ID settings, the advertising identifier cannot be used to create user profiles for advertising purposes. But as Privacy International points out, this doesn't stop the apps from tracking users, or using collected data for non advertising purposes.

While Facebook says that the onus is on app developers to get users to agree that they have the legal right to collect and share personal data, in June the company launched a feature that allows developers to delay collecting data until the user consents. Perhaps not coincidentally, this feature was added 35 days after Europe's draconian General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. This regulation prevents companies from using subscriber's personal data without consent. Companies that fail to adhere to the rules could be fined 4% of global revenue or the equivalent $23 million dollar, whichever is higher.


According to Privacy International, some of the apps that share data with Facebook include Kayak, Skyscanner, Trip Advisor, Shazam, Spotify and Indeed.

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22 Comments

1. BGChicago

Posts: 217; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

You don't need an app for most of these anyway. Use a browser

17. fatTony

Posts: 113; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

For those who like to listen to music while out for a jog or at the gym, it is not practical to use the browser version of Spotify. Android user for over eight years, but these privacy concerns are making me consider Apple. Already dumped Facebook, hasn't hurt my quality of life one bit.

21. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Different security doesn't equal better security.

2. lyndon420

Posts: 6387; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Hey!! Facebook and Android is sharing your information with everyone and anything. Welcome to 2018 !!

3. Subie

Posts: 2262; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Since Apple owns Shazam I hope they have it patched by now. Because we know they don't make customers the product...

4. Subie

Posts: 2262; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

double post

9. Vancetastic

Posts: 679; Member since: May 17, 2017

How many more reasons do we need to not use Facebook?

12. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Listen some of the biggest company's are from the US like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco etc etc. And who is the biggest aggressor and spy in the world.....yes US! You see where i am going with this post?

15. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

Apple bad news: android fans flocking, flocking and cursing. Android bad news: android fans sending links how bad apple

16. worldpeace

Posts: 3077; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I don't see anyone sending links here.. btw.. "Apple bad news: android fans flocking, flocking and cursing." That's because you can't defend Apple.. "Android bad news: android fans sending links how bad apple." That's because of your hypocrisy, you start running your mouth while going blind if Apple is the one did it.. People who send those links just want to give you some enlightenment (which we know it just wont work)

19. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5474; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Looks exactly like your behaviour but pro-Apple instead.

20. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5474; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

It seems it's absolutely not an Android exclusive. A PiHole chart shows what an iPhone of a friend has for DNS traffic: https://imgur.com/a/nmYnE1I

22. gglfore

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 02, 2019

The best way to protect your privacy is not to share any personal data at first place with Google or other companies. I recommend using /e/ instead of Google Android. It is Android based mobile OS designed with privacy in mind. Does not send any private data like your messages or your location to Google. Instead of Google apps it uses open source android apps. You can check web site: e.foundation

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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