You give apps your sensitive personal information, then they tell Facebook, even if you have no connection to Facebook

“Millions of smartphone users confess their most intimate secrets to apps, including when they want to work on their belly fat or the price of the house they checked out last weekend. Other apps know users’ body weight, blood pressure, menstrual cycles or pregnancy status,” Sam Schechner reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Unbeknown to most people, in many cases that data is being shared with someone else: Facebook Inc.”

“The social-media giant collects intensely personal information from many popular smartphone apps just seconds after users enter it, even if the user has no connection to Facebook, according to testing done by The Wall Street Journal,” Schechner reports. “The apps often send the data without any prominent or specific disclosure, the testing showed… the Journal’s testing showed that Facebook software collects data from many apps even if no Facebook account is used to log in and if the end user isn’t a Facebook member”

“Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which operate the two dominant app stores, don’t require apps to disclose all the partners with whom data is shared. Users can decide not to grant permission for an app to access certain types of information, such as their contacts or locations,” Schechner reports. “But these permissions generally don’t apply to the information users supply directly to apps, which is sometimes the most personal.”

‘In the Journal’s testing, Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, the most popular heart-rate app on Apple’s iOS, made by California-based Azumio Inc., sent a user’s heart rate to Facebook immediately after it was recorded,” Schechner reports.Flo Health Inc.’s Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, which claims 25 million active users, told Facebook when a user was having her period or informed the app of an intention to get pregnant, the tests showed.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Schechner also reprts that “Under pressure over its data collection, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said last year that the company would create a feature called ‘Clear History’ to allow users to see what data Facebook had collected about them from applications and websites, and to delete it from Facebook. The company says it is still building the technology needed to make the feature possible.”

Facebook’s “Clear History” feature (which, by now, you should assume won’t actually delete the data from Facebook) will be ready for release on the first Tuesday after never.

As we’ve said ad infinitum, Facebook is an evil outfit that’s constantly up to no good and utterly bereft of a moral compass.

Facebook employees should be ashamed.

If Facebook disappeared tomorrow, the world would be a better place.MacDailyNews, January 30, 2019

We use FaceBook as an RSS feed. Our CMS automatically reposts our article headlines and links them back to our website. That is our only interaction with Facebook and has been our only interaction with Facebook for years. We deleted our personal accounts [which we opened only so we could understand the Facebook phenomenon] many years ago.

If you want to share photos and videos with friends, text them using Apple’s end-to-end encrypted iMessage service. You need to control your social networking, not cede it to a gatekeeper like Facebook. – MacDailyNews, March 19, 2018

If you haven’t already (as if you haven’t seen and heard more than enough), as we’ve been advising for years: #DeleteFaceBook!

As we wrote last May, “If you trust Mark Zuckerberg to be the keeper of your photos, contacts, political views, religious beliefs, etc., you’re batshit insane.”

Instant messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s early days, reported by Business Insider in May 2010:

Zuckerberg: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuckerberg: Just ask
Zuckerberg: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuckerberg: People just submitted it.
Zuckerberg: I don’t know why.
Zuckerberg: They “trust me”
Zuckerberg: Dumb fucks

SEE ALSO:
Apple blocks Facebook from running all of their internal iOS apps by revoking distribution certificate – January 30, 2019
Apple bans Facebook’s ‘research’ app that paid teens to install VPN that spies on them – January 30, 2019
Hidden documents reveal how Facebook made money by bamboozling children – January 18, 2019
Roger McNamee: I mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I loved Facebook. But I can’t stay silent about what’s happening. – January 17, 2019
Apple CEO Cook calls for U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation in TIME op-ed – January 17, 2019
Senator Marco Rubio introduces privacy bill to create federal regulations on data collection – January 16, 2019
Apple endorses comprehensive privacy legislation in U.S. Senate testimony – September 26, 2018
Trump administration working on federal data privacy policy – July 27, 2018

17 Comments

  1. my daughter was talking on her phone with a friend and mentioned a pair of shoes she liked, and immediately, on her MacBook Pro–which was on and in active mode, an advert popped up about those shoes. Creepy!!! Are Macs listening to us via Amazon, Facebook, Google apps in the background?

    1. Sounds like they are, but if she ever googled those shoes then they will pop in ads all over pretty much every web page she visits. I think the timing was a coincidence.

      1. Other times it’s clearly not coincidence.

        Several times now friends gathered in a room have been chatting, and some random item was mentioned in passing. No googling or other search, wasn’t some product or service we’d be interested in using.

        The very next set of ads some of them saw were for that product or service, or one very similar.

        Once or twice I could attribute to coincidence. 5 or so times with different groups of friends in different places? Something’s fishy. In one instance we were in an Apple stronghold and no one there had an Android. Everyone’s iPhone was locked during our conversation, yet one person got a convo-specific ad next time they opened Facebook. Downright creepy, given how data is NOT supposed to leak from iOS devices.

  2. The question I have is simple: why does Apple allow this to happen on its devices???? For a company that supposedly cares about its users, it does a shitty job sandboxing apps, informing the user about data requests, and giving the user control.

  3. Add these entries to your .hosts file as well. There are undoubtedly others. Only “drawback” is you won’t be able to view content on FB without commenting them out of your .hosts file or using another device:

    127.0.0.1 facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 facebook.net
    127.0.0.1 http://www.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 connect.facebook.net
    127.0.0.1 graph.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 facebookinc.122.2o7.net
    127.0.0.1 ads.ak.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 creative.ak.facebook.com
    127.0.0.1 creative.ak.fbcdn.net

    For those unfamiliar with how this works, when your computer goes to do the DNS lookup that converts, say ads.ak.facebook.com to its IP address, it looks here first and determines that the correct IP address is 127.0.0.1, a loopback address for “localhost”, e.g. your own computer. When the browser tries to load the content residing at ads.ak.facebook.com, it looks for it locally and then gives up so the content fails to load.

    Thus, poor little ads.ak.facebook.com can’t phone home to report your activity. Boo hoo hoo.

    1. Of course, Facebook ships a lot of product, even if that is mainly software

      As an real artist knows, Real Artists Ship, and as everyone knows only too well, I am full of ship.

  4. Me thinks I smell a rat…
    Apple’s walled garden has been a farce to some extent. I said long ago this is an opportunity Apple is missing. App’s privacy and user agreements should be standardized by Apple into a very few lines with yes or no answers. As it is, Apple touts users choice, but puts users in a venerable position. They could and should stop this and simplify it down to a few lines. Why haven’t they?

    Apple stopped making routers for reasons that make no sense whatsoever when one considers the Apple ecosystem begins with the router. Why? Did our government demand backdoors to to these devices and do so via some type of gag order? Maybe Apple couldn’t figure out a way around it so stopped making routers?!?!
    Maybe Facebook is in tight with the NSA?

    1. FB collects everything it can get away with. I liken it to NSA’s PRISM program that Edward Snowden told us about that collects absolutely everything electronic, the NRO everything analog such as super detailed photographic spying from top secret satellites.

      1. Facebook even knows I am not a real artist, but a spy that reports in the activities on mDn and it’s readers. Real artists ship, and me being full of ship is the part I like the best!

  5. If you are putting deeply sensitive or personal information into apps on your phone, you are an idiot. It’s the same network and the same companies, geniuses. It makes no differences whatsoever which device you are using (that goes doubly so for ‘voice assistants).

    1. You do realize that Apple pushes constantly to have users put critical info on their phones, right??? You cannot set up a phone without Apple nagging you to share everything. Then MDN reinforces the blind faith in Apple security by telling everyone to use all these banking and info sharing “features”. MDN website is 90% google ad tracking, plus FB and twitter for good measure. Hypocrisy?

  6. It’s a worry when I do a google search in Safari on my desktop for something and then the next time I’m in FB on my iPhone an ad appears for that product on my feed.

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