A recent Privacy International study found that 42.55% of the free apps in Google Play could share data with Facebook, and many popular apps share data with Facebook the second they’re opened.
According to the study, 61% of the apps the group tested automatically transferred data to Facebook the moment the user opened the app, regardless of whether or not that person has a Facebook account or if they’re logged into that account on the device.
Facebook is kind of a mess right now. And there are plenty of equally messy reaction pieces cajoling you and everyone you know, to delete your account in a massive middle finger to the web's prevailing social network. That's the easy take and, honestly, we've experienced this mob response before. Did you #DeleteFacebook then? Me neither.
Some of those apps send detailed information to the social network that might be considered sensitive. For instance, Kayak sends Facebook information about people’s flight searches, including their departure city, date, and airport as well as where they plan on going, how long they’d like to stay, and how many people they’re travelling with. It also shares information about the type of ticket someone is searching for.
Other popular apps that the study determined send data to Facebook include MyFitnessPal, Duolingo, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor, Spotify, Yelp, Shazam, and Indeed.
Facebook has reportedly corrected the issue through a new version of its developer kit, but these apps have yet to implement it, or at least aren’t implementing it properly, Engadget reports.
The issue does not appear to impact iOS versions of the apps.
If you use any of them, it’s worth knowing what information you’re sharing when you do.