On February 22nd, The Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”) reported that 11 iOS and Android apps were purportedly sharing sensitive data with Facebook in apparent violation of Facebook’s own policies.The WSJ further reported that tests showed that the Facebook collects data from numerous apps within seconds of data entry by the user. This appears to be the case even when a user has not logged into Facebook and even if a user does not have a Facebook account. Following the initial WSJ report, the WSJ reported that certain apps ceased sending data to Facebook.
Governor Cuomo has called on two state agencies, the New York Department of State and the Department of Financial Services to investigate the issue of apps sharing data without explicit user consent. Further, Governor Cuomo has also asked federal regulators to “step up and help us put an end to this practice and protect the rights of consumers”. Reuter’s reports that “New York’s financial services department does not traditionally supervise social media companies directly, but has waded into digital privacy in the financial sector and could have oversight of some app providers that send user data to Facebook”.
For more information, please see:
- Naked Security: Facebook apps secretly sending sensitive data back to the mothership
- The Wall Street Journal: You Give Apps Sensitive Personal Information. Then They Tell Facebook.
- The Wall Street Journal: Popular Apps Cease Sharing Data with Facebook
- Financial Times: Popular apps share data with Facebook without user consent
- Governor Cuomo Directs New York Department of State and Department of Financial Services to Investigate Reports That Facebook is Secretly Accessing Personal Information
- Reuters: NY governor orders probe into Facebook access to data from other apps