In the Journal’s testing, Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, the most
popular heart-rate app on Apple’s iOS, made by California-based
Azumio Inc., sent a user’s heart rate to Facebook immediately
after it was recorded.
Flo Health Inc.’s Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, which claims 25
million active users, told Facebook when a user was having her
period or informed the app of an intention to get pregnant, the
Real-estate app Realtor.com, owned by Move Inc., a subsidiary of
Wall Street Journal parent News Corp , sent the social network the
location and price of listings that a user viewed, noting which
ones were marked as favorites, the tests showed.
None of those apps provided users any apparent way to stop that
information from being sent to Facebook.
Just incredible. The appetite for analytics is so pervasive and perverse it’s led the entire industry to lose its mind.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I think Apple needs to institute stringent disclosure requirements on apps that share data with third parties. Apple’s not directly involved, but they promote the App Store as a resource users can trust.