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Menstruation monitoring apps share data with Facebook

Facebook

According to new research, some applications menstruation monitoring send to Facebook extremely personal information for women who use them.

The UK research team revealed that some applications, such as MIA Fem and Maya, send to Facebook informationsuch as period dates, symptoms, methods of contraception used by women, and more.

Most women use these apps either to monitor the menstrual cycle or to help find the right days to conceive a baby. In the Google Play there are many such applications. The Indian Maya application has over 5 million downloads. The MIA Fem: Ovulation Calculator application he says that it has over 2 millions users worldwide.

Personal information is sent to Facebook through Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK). This helps app developers integrate specific features and collect user data so Facebook can display targeted advertisements.

Every time a woman opens the Maya app, Facebook is automatically updated. At the same time, the application sends the information before the woman claims it complies with the application's privacy policy.

The Maya app asks women to report how they feel, what their symptoms are, ask if they are using a contraceptive method and more. There is also a place where women keep theirs notes, something like a diary. However, the application does not use this information carefully. Instead, she sends them to Facebook, which, depending on the needs of each woman, will show ads with different products in each.

Operators of the MIA Fem app have requested that all material released be deleted and accuse the app of sending users' personal data to Facebook.

On the other hand, Plackal Tech owns Maya, stated that the application is not shared personally or medically data of women with Facebook or another company.

"The Ad SDK [Facebook's software development kit] helps us make money by running ads that our users can avoid," the company said.

He also said that all the data requested by Maya is necessary for the application to function properly. "Predicting information about menstrual cycles is complex and depends on thousands of variables." Developers argue that all the information they request is needed to make predictions right.

For his part, Facebook says it receives app information but requires app developers to keep users informed of the data they send in platform of social network.

A spokesman for the platform said unnecessary information such as Social Security Numbers, passwords, emails, phone numbers and other sensitive personal data is being crawled and deleted.

The practices of these applications raise concerns about protecting users' privacy. These applications handle very personal data, which most women would not give if they knew that they were being sent to third parties. In addition, many times, applications have long texts describing their terms, so many users may not even read them.

Developers are using this technique for this very reason. To reduce readability so the user can agree without really knowing what the app is doing.

In addition, another question arises. Does Facebook send this information to anyone else company. How many finally have access to this extremely personal information?

All this must be taken into account and measures taken to protect users' privacy. Applications should be reviewed before they are released and removed from the Play Store if an issue arises security.

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