New York probing Facebook on data from apps: source

February 28, 2019
New York is probing Facebook over its collection of intimate consumer data from smartphone applications.

New York regulators are probing Facebook's gathering of intimate consumer data such as menstrual cycles and body weight through smartphone applications, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Facebook meanwhile confirmed it had received a letter from New York state's Department of Financial Services seeking information about the data sharing.

The regulator, best known for cracking down on large banks, demanded that Facebook provide the names of all the companies that have sent the social media company data about users of their applications over the past three years, according to the source.

Other requests were sent to for information on their contracts with Facebook.

A Wall Street Journal report on February 22 found that intimate data could be shared with Facebook from at least 11 popular apps using a tool designed to help target ads, even if users were not Facebook members.

Information collected by apps included regarding , pregnancy status, ovulation, and home shopping, according to the Journal.

Facebook said it was reviewing the request.

"It's common for developers to share information with a wide range of platforms for advertising and analytics," a Facebook spokesperson said.

"We require the other 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 New York probe comes amid a broadening debate over online privacy. Interest and industry groups testified this week at hearings on Capitol Hill on options to strengthen protection following a number of high-profile scandals involving Facebook and other tech giants.

Explore further: Apps send intimate user data to Facebook: report

Related Stories

Report: SEC probes Facebook privacy issues

July 12, 2018

A report says the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Facebook adequately warned its investors about privacy lapses involving the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook accused of giving access to users' data

December 5, 2018

A British parliamentary committee accused Facebook on Wednesday of giving companies such as Netflix preferential access to users' data even after it tightened its privacy rules in 2014-15.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.