Apps sending intimate data to Facebook

An investigative report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that many smartphone apps are sending highly intimate data such as body weight, blood pressure, menstrual cycles or pregnancy status to Facebook without notifying the users.

The report noted how people share their most intimate pieces of information with apps. "Millions of smartphone users confess their most intimate secrets to apps, including when they want to work on their belly fat or the price of the house they checked out last weekend," WSJ report.

The article is based on its own in-house investigation that some of the highly personal information was shared with Facebook using a tool designed to help target ads, even though the app users are not on the social media website.

However, Facebook argues that the data sharing rule across apps on iPhones or Android devices are according to the standard industry practice.

In response to an AFP inquiry, Facebook spokeswoman Nissa Anklesaria said:  "We require app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are sharing with us, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data."

She added, "We also take steps to detect and remove data that should not be shared with us."

According to the report, at least 11 popular apps are guilty of sharing data with Facebook, and over tens of millions of times, they have been downloaded, often without disclosing the practice prominently or directly.

The app developers who send their data to Facebook are yet to respond to the allegations.