A recent study conducted by Privacy International concluded that android applications collect data and send it to facebook. The company analysed close to 34 applications, out of which 61 percent were found sending data automatically to facebook when the applications were opened.
Popular applications for travel like TripAdvisor, Kayak and also job seeker application Indeed transmit data to facebook through a Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK), which is an inbuilt Facebook SDK tool that is downloaded with the application on Playstore.
Most of the applications that were tested had an installation base between 10 to 500 million. Tests were conducted twice, once in the month of August and another in the month of December 2018. Previous researches showed that 42.55 percent of free apps on the Google Play store and share data with Facebook.
Facebook collected data and tracked non users as well, in some cases like Kayak, the app was reportedly sending detailed and sensitive information to Facebook such as flight searches of its users, departure city, number of tickets, arrival city, etc, which pose a threat to the user’s privacy.
The study believes if all this collected data was combined Facebook can paint a fine-grained and intimate picture of people’s activities, interests, behaviors and routines, some of which can reveal special category data, including information about people’s health or religion.
After the European Union brought the Privacy law, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Facebook asked its 3rd party vendors to delay collecting automatically logged events until after they acquire user consent. However many applications failed to delay or prevent Facebook SDK from collecting data.
The study raises a number of questions on how transparent facebook is with its users and non-facebook users. The research raises number of legal questions, as it also violates many international privacy laws.
(Bits From: https://privacyinternational.org/)