Menstrual Cycle Apps Share Users’ Sex Data With Facebook

Millions of people are having the intimate details of their sex lives shared with Facebook through the use of period-tracking apps.

Privacy International, a London-based charity that promotes the right to privacy for everyone in the world, investigated a number of different apps to document what the social media giant had access to.

It found that Maya, an app with more than five million Google Play downloads, was the largest sharing the sensitive data. Information such as contraceptive choices, period due dates and sickness symptoms was being sent to Facebook for advertising purposes.

According to the BBC, Privacy International said: “The wide reach of the apps that our research has looked at might mean that intimate details of the private lives of millions of users across the world are shared with Facebook and other third parties without those users’ free unambiguous and informed or explicit consent, in the case of sensitive personal data, such as data relating to a user’s health or sex life.”

Apps send data to Facebook as part of its standard software development kit so third-party advertisers can target users with personalised adverts.

In response to the report, Maya has said it will continue to use Facebook’s Ad software development kit for users who have agreed to the terms and conditions. However, it will make sure that no medical or personally identifiable data is being distributed.

Facebook came under fire last week when it was discovered that over 400 million members had their phone numbers listed on a publicly accessible database.

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Dominic Whitlock

Dominic is the Editor for Global Dating Insights. Originally from Devon, England he achieved a BA in English Language & Linguistics from The University of Reading. He enjoys a variety of sports and has a further passion for film and music.

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