Apps May Tell Facebook About Last Time Users Had Sex: Study

"Your best friend may not know when you last had sex, but it’s possible that Facebook does.
At least two menstruation-tracking apps, Maya and MIA Fem, were sharing intimate details of users’ sexual health with Facebook and other entities, according to a new report from Britain-based privacy watchdog Privacy International. In some cases, those details, which are self-recorded by users in the app, included when the user last had sex, the type of contraception used, their moods and whether they were ovulating.

The findings raise questions about the security of the most private information in an age when employers, insurers and advertisers can use data to discriminate or target certain categories of people.

The information was shared with the social media giant via the Facebook Software Development Kit, a product that allows developers to create apps for specific operating systems, track analytics and monetize their apps through Facebook’s advertising network. Privacy International found that both Maya and MIA began sharing data with Facebook as soon as the user installed the app on their phone and opened it, even before a privacy policy was signed.

Facebook said its terms of service prohibit app developers from sharing health or sensitive data, and that Facebook has been in contact with both Maya and MIA to notify them of a possible violation of those terms, in statements from the companies included in the report. Facebook also said that while it has systems in place to automatically detect and delete information like Social Security Numbers and passwords from the information shared by apps, the company is “looking at ways to improve our system/products to detect and filter out more types of potentially sensitive data.”

Plackal Tech, which developed Maya, said in its statement to Privacy International that it would remove the Facebook Software Development Kit from a new version of its service. There was no published response from Mobapp Development Limited, the company behind MIA, and the company did not have immediate comment."

Read more at: