New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is going to investigate Facebook over privacy practices

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“Sharing information across apps on your iPhone or Android device is how mobile advertising works and is industry standard practice,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Hill.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking the latest accusations about Facebook’s privacy sharing practices seriously. According to The Hill, the Governor is directing two state agencies to start an investigation into the social media/tech giant. Reports are circulating that Facebook is receiving information about users through third-party apps. Some of the information is highly-personal.

Cuomo says the report in The Wall Street Journal indicates Facebook is getting data such as users blood pressure, and even women’s menstrual cycles without the consent of the users. Cuomo says this very clearly violates the company’s “business practices.”

“The recent report that Facebook is accessing far more personal information of smartphone users than previously reported, including health and other sensitive data, represents an invasion of privacy and breach of consumer trust,” Cuomo said.

“According to the report, a wide range of apps are sending highly personal data to the social media giant apparently without users’ consent and even when users are not logged in through Facebook. This practice, which in some cases clearly violates Facebook’s own business terms, is an outrageous abuse of privacy,” the governor added.

The state’s Department of Financial Services and Department of State will lead an investigation into the reports, Cuomo said, while calling on federal authorities to investigate the matter as well.

“I also call on relevant federal regulators to step up and help us put an end to this practice and protect the rights of consumers,” he said.

The Hill

For Facebook’s part, they have responded saying that some apps were sharing this data and they would instruct those apps to stop sharing that data with Facebook.

“Sharing information across apps on your iPhone or Android device is how mobile advertising works and is industry standard practice,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Hill.

“The issue is how apps use information for online advertising. We require app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are sharing with us, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data. We also take steps to detect and remove data that should not be shared with us,” the spokesperson added.

Facebook spokesperson – Via The Hill

It sounds like even with Facebook’s statements and fixing of the problem, Governor Andrew Cuomo is still launching the investigation.

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Source: The Hill

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