Investigation Reveals Apps Transmit Data to Facebook on Android

Gus Hosein, Executive Director, Privacy International
Gus Hosein, Executive Director, Privacy International

Privacy International investigation has revealed a proliferation of data tracking, brokerage and exchange between many tech companies, both as their primary business as well as value added services which are transmitted to Facebook.

The investigation revealed that Facebook routinely tracks users, non-users and logged-out users outside its platform through Facebook Business Tools. App developers share data with Facebook through the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK), a set of software development tools that help developers build apps for a specific operating system.

Using the free and open source software tool called “mitmproxy”, an interactive HTTPS proxy, Privacy International analyzed the data that a number of Android apps transmit to Facebook through the Facebook SDK.

In its investigation, Privacy International found out that at least 61 percent of apps it tested automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment users open the app and that this happens whether the users have Facebook accounts or not, or whether they are logged into Facebook or not.

The investigation also found out that some apps routinely send Facebook data that is incredibly detailed and sometimes sensitive. Again, this happens to data of people who are either logged out of Facebook or who do not have a Facebook account.

For more information on the investigation and to download the report, please visit: