While some of the people have determined to stay away from Facebook due to the data collecting practices, Facebook is using another way to track those ones. Whether anyone stopped using Facebook or never signed up, Facebook collects data from other Android apps.
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Recently, the Privacy International analyzed 34 popular apps having 10 to 500 million installation base on Android and found that these apps interact with Facebook and transmit the users’ data through Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK).
Whenever Android users open or close Facebook interacting apps, the data get shared. As per the analysis, apps that share personal or sensitive data with Facebook include Duolingo, Kayak, King James Bible, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Super-Bright LED Flashlight, Shazam, My Talking Tom and more. The detailed information of sharing data by each Android app is present on the official website of Privacy International.
The testing team observed that about 61 percent of the tested apps send data to FB automatically when user launch them and some of the apps used to share data regularly. The most annoying thing is that sometimes apps also share sensitive & detailed data.
For instance, the apps used for Travel assistance share detailed information such as departure airport, departure date, arrival date, arrival city, arrival airport, number of tickets as well as the classes of the tickets.
“In our analysis, apps that automatically transmit data to Facebook share this data together with a unique identifier, the Google advertising ID (AAID). The primary purpose of advertising IDs, such as the Google advertising ID (or Apple’s equivalent, the IDFA) is to allow advertisers to link data about user behavior from different apps and web browsing into a comprehensive profile. If combined, data from different apps 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”, Privacy International stated.
It’s not clear that how Facebook uses shared data of those users who don’t use Facebook or never signed up. There is a need for transparency from Facebook about the usage and storage of data. The developers should be provided with more tools that can help them to protect the privacy of their users.