According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook receives confidential personal informations that smartphone owners send to completely separate mobile apps, this is thanks to a software tool that immediately shares this data with the social network to improve ad targeting.
This new report highlights a behavior that is particularly detrimental to privacy by health and fitness applications, as the shared information can cover anything from diet or physical activity to the user’s ovulation cycle or if there is the intention to have a child.
In particular, the creators of this applications use the “App Events”, a tool provided by Facebook that shares sensitive information and data sent by the user directly with the social network and that in most cases, must be sent manually. This data is then used to target advertisements.
It is not clear whether there is any form of financial agreement under which the apps are incentivized to share this data with Facebook but it seems that this practice is quite common.
For its part, Facebook has stated that it is not collecting sensitive information on the health and the financial situation of users to use them more widely, even if there is no way to verify if this is true.
Once again, the border between protection and violation of privacy is very thin when we talk about Facebook and the ecosystem made up of the many apps that revolve around this social network.