Popular apps like Yelp send your information to Facebook even if we aren’t on Facebook, remoteness watchdog says


The amicable network announced that it has begun rolling out a new unsend underline in a Messenger app. However, there’s a catch.

Some Android apps including Yelp continue to send information to Facebook even if a device owners doesn’t have a Facebook account, according to a remoteness watchdog group.

U.K.-based non-profit Privacy International analyzed a information of 34 renouned Android apps with 10 million to 500 million installs. In a Dec report, it found that two-thirds, or 23, apps automatically sent information to Facebook. While some apps have given been corrected, not all have, Privacy International pronounced in an updated report.

Android versions of Yelp, pursuit hunt app Indeed, denunciation app Duolingo, a King James Bible app and Muslim request apps Qibla Connect and Muslim Pro continue to send information to Facebook regardless of either users have an comment on a amicable network or are logged out, according to a report. 

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Some versions of a apps for Apple iOS inclination also “exhibit identical behavior,” a organisation said.

The movement is “hugely problematic” in that it not usually invades users’ remoteness though also puts competing apps during a disadvantage, Privacy International news says. “Since so many apps still send this kind of information to Facebook, this could give a association an unusual discernment into a vast share of a app ecosystem.”

The organisation pronounced it had brought a emanate to a courtesy of European Union regulators and contacted a several app makers.

Facebook said, in a matter sent to USA TODAY, “It’s common for developers to share information with a far-reaching operation of platforms for promotion and analytics. We need app developers to be transparent with their users about a information they are collecting and what they are doing with it, and we demarcate app developers from promulgation us supportive data.”

The amicable network, a matter continued, also takes “steps to detect and mislay information that should not be common with us. Additionally, we are formulation a active overdo to developers over a existent notifications and emails to pull adoption of a latest chronicle of (its program developers kit).”

Yelp, in a matter sent to USA TODAY, pronounced a Android app “does not also send personal information to Facebook during launch.”

However, a app “may broadcast a device’s unknown promotion ID to Facebook” as partial of a routine in how it runs ad campaigns for a apps on Facebook, Yelp said. “This use is described in Yelp’s Privacy Policy and Android users can, during any time, select to repudiate entrance to a promotion ID by Android settings.”

In a matter sent to Privacy International and common with USA TODAY, Duolingo pronounced it thanked a organisation “for their critical work lifting recognition of this issue. As partial of a ongoing joining to privacy, we are stealing a … member from both a Android and iOS apps in a subsequent chronicle releases.”

In December, Privacy International pronounced it tested many renouned apps, including Spotify, and found it automatically sent information to Facebook. In a retest, PI found Spotify and two-thirds of a apps had “updated their apps so that they no longer hit Facebook when we open a app,” a news said.

The refurbish comes as Facebook pronounced it was relocating brazen on a skeleton to mix a Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp apps in a pierce to make messaging some-more “privacy-focused,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday.

Facebook has faced countless privacy-invading incidents over a past few years, including a Cambridge Analytica liaison in that as many as 87 million had their information improperly shared. “Many people don’t consider Facebook can or would even wish to build this kind of privacy-focused height – since honestly we don’t now have a clever repute for building remoteness protecting services,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post.

Heightened regulator inspection could bushel Facebook’s strategy, said Scott Devitt, an researcher with investment bank Stifel. “We trust Facebook sits in a unsafe position of perplexing to strengthen a golden crow of engagement-and-data-driven promotion income while pivoting to a new privacy-centric business indication to emanate a notice of addressing flaws of a past,” he said. “Facebook will make this try while integrating a really resources that could be targets for subdivision by tellurian regulators.”

Follow USA TODAY contributor Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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