Report: 11 iPhone Apps Sending Sensitive Data to Facebook

The Associated Press
Andrew Harnik/AP

According to a new investigation, almost a dozen iOS apps for iPhones and iPads are sending sensitive personal user data to Facebook.

A new investigation has revealed that 11 iOS applications are sending sensitive personal data to Facebook. This sensitive data included personal information such as weight, BMI, menstrual cycles, and sexual activity.

A report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that a popular exercise application was sending a user’s sexual activity information to Facebook. The application has since stopped sending personal data to Facebook.

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.

New York State’s Department of Financial Services has demanded an explanation from Facebook over this controversy. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said that it is not unusual for applications to share information with social media platforms for advertising and analytical purposes.

Here is the list of the apps in the report:

  • Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker

  • Weight Loss Fitness by Verv

  • BetterMe: Weight Loss Workouts

  • Lose It!

  • GetFit: Home Fitness & Workout

  • Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor

  • BetterMen: Fitness Trainer

  • Realtor.com Real Estate Search

  • Trulia Real Estate: Find Homes

  • Breethe: Sleep & Meditation

  • Glucose Buddy

All of these applications have been downloaded millions of times in the past year. As a result of this controversy, analysts are concerned about the increasing disregard that Silicon Valley has for user privacy.

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