“A New York regulator is ramping up a promised investigation of how Facebook Inc. gathered sensitive personal information from popular smartphone applications, after a report by The Wall Street Journal revealed that some apps were sending the social-media giant data, including users’ body weight and menstrual cycles,” Sam Schechner reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The state’s Department of Financial Services on Wednesday sent a series of letters seeking information and documents from Facebook and the developers behind the at least 11 apps mentioned in the Journal’s reporting, according to a person familiar with the investigation.”
“The evidence-gathering is the first concrete step in an investigation that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered last Friday, just hours after the Journal report, which found that the 11 apps were sending intensely personal information to Facebook as soon as it was entered by users or recorded by the app — regardless of whether the user logged in via Facebook or was a member of the social network,” Schechner reports. “New York’s investigation adds to mounting scrutiny from regulators of Facebook’s privacy practices. Last year, the U.K.’s privacy regulator fined Facebook GBP500,000 ($665,000) for allowing political data firm Cambridge Analytica to access data on tens of millions of Facebook users. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is currently also investigating the company. On Thursday, Ireland’s privacy regulator said that it has 10 open investigations into whether Facebook or its subsidiaries have violated the European Union’s new privacy law, called GDPR.”
“The Journal found 11 popular apps — including six of the top 15 health-and-fitness apps in Apple Inc.’s U.S. App Store — were using a software-development kit, or SDK, provided by Facebook to send the social network data including users’ heart rate or blood pressure,” Schechner reports.
On February 24th, Schechner reported for the Journal, “A popular food- and exercise-logging app, Lose It! stopped sending Facebook sensitive personal information, Sunday’s test showed. In earlier tests, the app had been sending Facebook the weight users logged, along with how much they had gained or lost, and the caloric content of every food item they logged. It also sent the caloric value of every exercise logged: When a user entered having completed 45 minutes of ‘sexual activity’ during one test, the app sent that information to Facebook along with an estimate of how many calories the activity burned.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: 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
These apps are stealing your most private data and it should be a crime – February 25, 2019
You give apps your sensitive personal information, then they tell Facebook, even if you have no connection to Facebook – February 22, 2019
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
[Attribution: 9to5Mac. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]