Facebook is known to harvest a massive amount of data on its users. It also confirmed that it is collecting data from individuals online, whether or not they have a Facebook account.
And there is no way you can avoid it. The reason for this is that when your friends or family share their contact details with Facebook, may also provide the social media giant your data.
What is more surprising now is that the data are more intimate and detailed. In a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, it showed that some popular iOS apps are providing data to the social media giant. The information can be used for advertising purposes.
The report stated that it happened right away. That is, when an app records new data, the information will be sent directly to Facebook. Even if you are not logged into Facebook or not a user, the social media giant can see your recorded data.
This investigative report also highlighted that these apps are not required by Google or Apple regarding what companies or partners they get to share the data with.
Smartphone users share their intimate details with the apps on their phone. For example, they confess how much belly fat they wish to get rid of. They would also input their body weight, menstrual cycles, blood pressure or pregnancy status.
The report revealed that Facebook is purchasing these data from apps. And, as mentioned earlier, it could access it immediately after new details are recorded.
These apps share the data to take advantage of the analytics tools of the social media giant. As they get to use the analytics, they can target their audience more precisely through Facebook ads.
Apple blocks some personal details of the users, such as location and contacts. However, more sensitive data can be shared readily through those popular apps. Your health and fitness details are sent to Facebook and there is no way to disable this type of data sharing.
It is true that you can turn off targeted advertising on Facebook. But there is no possible way for you to prevent the apps you are using from secretly sending your data to Facebook. Or you can just stop using those apps.
Facebook stated that some data sharing that the report uncovered did violate its business terms. It asked these apps to stop sending those sensitive data.
The Wall Street Journal has spoken to Apple and the iPhone-maker stated that under the guidelines of App Store, apps must obtain user consent when they collect data. Apple said that if it knows any developer breaching the strict privacy terms, it investigates and take immediate actions. But it is still happening now.
The report revealed that it has tested 70 popular apps. And out of that number, 11 of them send sensitive user details to Facebook. What is more surprising is that six of them are on the top 15 health and fitness apps.
Since there is little you can do about it, you just have to quit using apps or be wary of what apps you are using. Apple must have more stringent guidelines to put an end to this kind of data harvesting.