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More Than 1,000 Android Apps Gain Your Data Even if Denied Permission: Report

According to the report, Egelman would be presenting more detailed information about the research findings at the Usenix Security conference in August

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in the US identified 1,325 Android apps that were gathering data from devices even after people explicitly denied them permission, news portal CNET reported on Tuesday.

Serge Egelman, Director of Usable Security And Privacy research at the ICSI, presented the study at the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy conference.

He said the researchers had notified Google about these issues in September 2018, as well as the FTC.

One of the apps mentioned by name was Shutterfly, which is used for editing photos. It had been gathering GPS coordinates from photos and sending that data to its own servers.

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York. VOA

In a statement, Shutterfly said: “Like many photo services, Shutterfly uses this data to enhance the user experience with features such as categorization and personalized product suggestions, all in accordance with Shutterfly’s privacy policy as well as the Android developer agreement.”

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The study published on the FTC website cited 153 apps, including Samsung’s Health and Browser apps, which are installed in more than 500 million devices.

According to the report, Egelman would be presenting more detailed information about the research findings at the Usenix Security conference in August. (IANS)

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Facebook Loves Your Data, and Rakes in Moolah Every Year

Facebook is facing scrutiny after personal data of 87 million users were harvested by UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has slapped Facebook with a $5 billion fine as a result of the breach

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An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

Our data is invaluable to Facebook and the social networking giant earned $157.41 average revenue per user (ARPU) in the US and Canada in the past five quarters.

In comparison, Facebook earned only $15 average revenue per user in Asia-Pacific in the same time period, it Q3 2019 earnings have revealed.

Facebook is earning triple the revenue from its US users as from its users in Europe where average revenue per user was mere $50.73 in the last five quarters.

“Part of that is attributable to the fact that American consumers spend more in general — per capita consumption in the US is about 80 per cent higher than in Europe,” reports Slate.

Facebook has nearly 1.62 billion daily active users and 2.4 billion monthly active users.

A cache of recently leaked Facebook documents, obtained by NBC News, showed how the CEO Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network’s power by treating users’ data as a bargaining chip.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

This trove comprises approximately 7,000 pages in total, of which about 4,000 are internal Facebook communications such as emails, web chats, notes, presentations and spreadsheets, primarily from 2011 to 2015.

About 1,200 pages are marked as “highly confidential”.

According to the report, the emails, notes and other documents dated as far back as 2011 and were supposed to be kept out of the public eye pending the civil case in California.

Despite dismissing Tinder co-founder Sean Rad as irrelevant, Zuckerberg also allowed the dating app special access to user data, as revealed by leaked exchanges.

Access to Facebook data helped Tinder thrive, but there came a point when it inched closer to losing that access.

The leaked correspondence was part of a long-running lawsuit in California state court, between former Facebook app developer Six4three and Facebook.

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FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. VOA

In 2014, Facebook, which is facing several antitrust investigations, announced a new set of rules to prevent third-party app developers from getting access to data on users’ friends. The social networking giant set May 2015 as the deadline for complying with the new rules. But some firms continued to have access to the crucial data, including Tinder.

In yet another data breach, Facebook earlier this month revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

Also Read: Bill Gates Officially Surpasses Jeff Bezos as Richest Person on Earth: Report

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface).

Facebook is facing scrutiny after personal data of 87 million users were harvested by UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has slapped Facebook with a $5 billion fine as a result of the breach. (IANS)