Facebook uses its development tools as a huge data vacuum, even if you do not have an open session or do not have an account on the social network. It does so through third-party applications and, as reported by the Privacy Foundation International, without the need for any consent or interaction by the users.
This would be counter to what is dictated by the current privacy and data protection legislation in Europe, the WFDD – General Data Protection Regulation. It seems that behavior, which was discovered a few weeks ago, affects about 30% of applications available through Google Play, which use the Facebook development software -SDK-.
More sophisticated use than expected in the most frustrating applications
Privacy International has studied some of the most used applications and checked whether they really are transmitting data, in which phase of the user's interaction and what information they send to Facebook. And the incidence is increasing: up to two out of every three analyzed applications send data to Facebook.
The list of the main applications that have been tested positively – which is suspended – in this test are the following. The link is turned on so you can check if you have installed:
Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal
Really: look for a job
Family and mobile locator
Cardiac rate – Impulse monitor
KAYAK: flights, hotels and more
The Bible of King James (KJV) for free
Muslim Pro – Hours of prayer, Atan, Quran, and Qila
My Talking Tom
Clue menstrual and ovulatory calendar
Find the direction of Qibla
Skyscanner – flights, hotels and cars
Spotify: music and podcasts
Time – Time Channel
TripAdvisor: hotels, restaurants, flights
????? Salatuk (Time for prayer)
In its analysis, the data received and sent by this SDK in its interaction at different levels are recorded. Of course, we also analyzed applications that did not find any trace of this connection, such as the Ookla, Candy Crush, Dropbox or WeChat speed test.
They are all applications with millions and even hundreds of millions of downloads. Many of them are known or "reputable" developers like "Spotify", with whom Facebook has recently shared controversies, allowing them to explore personal messages to their users.
Facebook developers have already warned that these collected data had previously been anonymized so that at no time there is no access to any private information from non-users on their platform. Developers of these applications also throw balls out, especially on the roof of Facebook. According to the Financial Times (paywall), there is a conflict between those who use these Facebook services and the platform itself.
While Facebook claims that collecting user data can be disabled, those who have carried out this functionality claim that it is not possible to do this at least a month after the entry into force of the European WGFD, or that they simply do not know that this is happening. . According to a Skyscanner spokesman:
"We were not aware that data is sent to Facebook in this way without the consent of our users, which is contrary to our own internal standards for integration with third-party technologies, and we are still investigating how this happened."