Facebook has received a ton of heat in recent months for its relationship with third-party apps, and for the kind of information it exchanges with these companies. In response, Facebook has actively discouraged apps from sharing certain kinds of sensitive information. However, a report from the UK-based watchdog group Privacy International this week revealed that many popular Android apps are still sending private user data to Facebook, whether or not the user in question even has a Facebook account.
Some of the apps Privacy International found are still trading your info include Duolingo, Yelp, the job search app Indeed, the King James Bible, and even two Muslim prayer apps.
“This is hugely problematic, not just for privacy, but also for competition,” Privacy International said in its report. “The data that apps send to Facebook typically includes information such as the fact that a specific app, such as a Muslim prayer app, was opened or closed… it would be easy to link this data into a profile and paint a fine-grained picture of someone’s interests, identities and daily routines.”
Thankfully, there are steps Android users can take to protect their privacy, like opting out of personalized advertising through Google. However, the problem is that most users won’t take the time to do that, and the default setting is for their information to be shared. As always, the best way to fully protect yourself might be to avoid Facebook altogether.
Follow the instructions below to opt out of Ads Personalization on your Android device:
Open up your Settings and then click on the ‘Google‘ tab. Now, you’ll click on the ‘Ads‘ option and select to opt out of Ads Personalization.
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