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Social Media - Search Engines - Browsers => Social Media => Topic started by: javajolt on February 23, 2019, 02:44:47 AM

Title: NY Governor Cuomo Calls For Investigation on Facebook Health Data Collection
Post by: javajolt on February 23, 2019, 02:44:47 AM
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo stated that a number of state agencies including the Department of State and the Department of Financial Services will investigate Facebook health data acquisition practices exposed by The Wall Street Journal.

According to the WSJ report, 11 of the most popular 70 applications from the Apple and Google app stores are sending sensitive personal information of tens of millions of users to Facebook, even when they weren't logged into their Facebook accounts.

Governor Cuomo's press release condemns the iOS and Android apps' health data mining behavior recently uncovered by the WSJ, calling it "an outrageous abuse of privacy."

According to the report, a wide range of apps are sending highly personal data to the social media giant apparently without users' consent and even when users are not logged in through Facebook. This practice, which in some cases clearly violates Facebook's own business terms, is an outrageous abuse of privacy.

However, in a statement sent by a Facebook spokesperson to The Hill, the social network says that the ones that should be under investigation are the app developers who haven't properly configured what data their apps share with the social network's mobile advertising platform.

As the Facebook spokesperson said, "Sharing information across apps on your iPhone or Android device is how mobile advertising works and is industry standard practice. The issue is how apps use information for online advertising."

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

Antonio García Martínez, a former Facebook ad targeting team head, also says, according to ZDNet, that Facebook should not be the one to be blamed for being on the receiving end of this data, given that "FB was in no way involved with the data collection, nor do they store the data in usable form (they're stored as bucketed 'events', so the developer can sort user actions, per whatever internal analytics philosophy they have). FB is basically a bean counter here."


Nonetheless, Governor Cuomo announced in the press release published on Friday that multiple state agencies will start an investigation:

I am directing the New York Department of State, in partnership with the Department of Financial Services and other state agencies, to immediately investigate this invasion of consumer privacy and I also call on relevant federal regulators to step up and help us put an end to this practice and protect the rights of consumers.

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