It’s no secret that Facebook collects as much user data as possible from third-party apps. However, one source of that data recently raised major alarm bells with privacy experts. According to an investigation from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Ring home security app is full of third-party trackers that are sending data to Facebook and other tech companies.
According to privacy advocates, any data that Facebook gathers can be combined to form a complete picture of a user. And since Ring is so intimately incorporated into peoples’ homes, the potential problems are obvious. To make matters worse, the EFF says that Ring doesn’t obtain user consent for these practices.
“The danger in sending even small bits of information is that analytics and tracking companies are able to combine these bits together to form a unique picture of the user’s device,” the EFF’s Bill Budington wrote in a blog post announcing the group’s findings. “This cohesive whole represents a fingerprint that follows the user as they interact with other apps and use their device, in essence providing trackers the ability to spy on what a user is doing in their digital lives and when they are doing it.”
“All this takes place without meaningful user notification or consent and, in most cases, no way to mitigate the damage done,” he continued.
As long as Facebook’s business model is built upon obtaining user data, it will cause privacy problems like this. But at least users are becoming increasingly aware of it.
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