Facebook has a bottomless appetite for people’s data, whether or not those people are logged in to the platform or even have an account at all. Even more evidence of this need arrived this week with a study from Privacy International that tested 34 Android apps, and found that 20 send sensitive information to Facebook without obtaining user consent.
According to the advocacy organization, 61 percent of these apps transferred data to Facebook immediately after being opened. However, others such as the travel search engine Kayak sent along its users’ flight destination searches, travel dates and even whether or not they’re traveling with kids. While all this data Facebook gathers can’t be immediately used to identify you, it theoretically could if enough points of it were put together.
“If combined, data from different apps can paint a fine-grained and intimate picture of people’s activities, interests, behaviors and routines, some of which can reveal special category data, including information about people’s health or religion,” Privacy International said.
While it isn’t Facebook’s fault that these app developers aren’t using the tools Facebook has provided them to protect user privacy, the company should perhaps take a stronger stand to force the issue.