October 22, 2019 | 11:29 PM IST
Breach of trust

Breach of trust: Sex, period and pregnancy-tracking apps share data with FB

An investigation by UK-based Privacy International agency found that two popular period- and pregnancy-tracking apps have shared intimate data of their users with Facebook. The two apps – Maya and Mia Fem- conducted ‘extensive sharing of sensitive personal data with third parties, including Facebook’. The data was used to track usage and set up advertising.
The apps are used to track the menstrual cycle, sexual interaction, pregnancy, and contraception usage. The users’ data for the same is being shared with Facebook through the social media company’s software development kit for further processing.

Founder and CEO of Maya app John Paul confirming that the app no longer shares users’ data said, “Maya does not sell data to Facebook or any third party. We have in the past used tools from Facebook, strictly to improve our product experience. We have proactively removed these tools from all versions of the app due to concerns about privacy.”

The probe found that the information by the apps was immediately shared before the users agreed to a privacy policy, regardless of whether or not the user had a Facebook account. Such information can be used by advertisers to create virtual personas of users so that they can be targeted more precisely for marketing campaigns.

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