Personal data of millions of women has been shared with Facebook. These data have been sent to Facebook through period tracking apps. This information was obtained from a report by Privacy International. These apps collect many personal information about women, such as when the user’s period started and when it stopped, user’s mood, craving and about their sex life. It also contains highly confidential information like ‘when was the last time you had sex’ and ‘which contraceptive method was used’.
According to Buzzfeed News, this information has been sent to Facebook and used for target ads. The two apps whose names have come up include Maya and MIA Fem. Maya was downloaded more than 5 million times from Google Play and App Store. At the same time, MIA Fem has more than 2 million users.
Maya and MIA Fem are period tracking apps. These two apps ask the user for many different personal details. All these information were shared to Facebook through the software developer kit ie SDK. The Facebook Software Development Kit is a product under which developers create apps for an operating system. Under this, they track and earn money by using Facebook’s ad network.
Privacy International has found that both Maya and Mia were sharing data with Facebook. As soon as the app is opened after installation, the data of this app is shared with Facebook.
According to the report of Elle, the sexual health data of Maya users has been given to Facebook without the permission of the users. Although MIA Fem has taken permission from users. But this app has not made it clear what data is being collected. A former Maya user told Buzzfeed that advertisers are able to target specific ads by tracking data related to the user’s mood, cycle and sex life. At this particular time of the month, these emotional ads also push. This makes the user spend more than necessary.
Facebook has told Buzzfeed News that Facebook told Buzzfeed News that an app identified by Privacy International has been contacted to discuss any possible violations of the SDK policy. At the moment, it is not clear that the data has been shared with others other than Facebook.