Some Android apps are sending data to Facebook, regardless of whether users have an account on the social network or not, new research warns.
A study by Privacy International analyzed the data that 34 Android apps, each with between 10 million and 500 million customers, transmit to Facebook.
“We found that at least 61 percent of apps we tested automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens the app,” it explained, in a statement. “This happens whether people have a Facebook account or not, or whether they are logged into Facebook or not.”
“We also found that some apps routinely send Facebook data that is incredibly detailed and sometimes sensitive,” Privacy International added.
Data is shared with the tech giant through Facebook’s Software Development Kit (SDK), according to the report.
“Typically, the data that is automatically transmitted first is events data that communicates to Facebook that the Facebook SDK has been initialized by transmitting data such as ‘App installed’ and ‘SDK Initialized’,” said Privacy International. “This data reveals the fact that a user is using a specific app, every single time that user opens an app.”
Facebook and its leadership are coming under intense scrutiny at the moment amid ongoing concern about the tech giant’s handling of user data.
The former head of GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA, recently warned that, without stronger regulation, Facebook could become a threat to democracy.
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