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"We found that at least 61 percent of apps we tested automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens the app. This happens whether people have a Facebook account or not, or whether they are logged into Facebook or not."

😱😱😱

Investigating Apps interactions with Facebook on Android | Privacy International

privacyinternational.org/campa

@Argus Is there a way on android to block the transfers? Eg. A set of ip addresses?

@Argus @aral On the other hand, Android has built-in iptables firewall which can be administered from commandline just as on Linux or with easy interfaces like AFWall+ (or for non-rooted devices through a virtual Virtual Private Network (a local VPN to self, to block all non-firewalled traffic, thus "virtual VPN")).

At least for for rooted Android devices one can also block hostnames via the hosts-file (/system/etc/hosts is a redirect (symlink) for /etc/hosts) just as on any non-closed UNIX(-like) system and even on Windows. I've seen apps that claim to be able to manage the hosts-file even without root on Android, but I have not tested any of those.

@Argus

This has been a thing for awhile. Does the report mention what the companies get in return for sending all the data to Facebook? Is it just a money thing?

@Argus I notice the FB SDK collects the phone's advertising_id plus a static FB "anon_id".

Assuming the anon_id stays the same per app (or per phone?) this allows FB to work around users who reset their advertising ids and keep tracking them as the same user

@Argus for some reason im particularly disappointed in Clue, they always seemed like a trustworthy app to me

@Argus

Wow. That makes me want to DNS black hole Facebook's domains.

@Argus

Mostly use Free and Libre Open Source software. Then if you still have a few proprietary apps, disable any and all trackers using ClassyShark3xodus and AdAway.

Here's my list for Android:

reddit.com/r/Android/comments/

@greta

Thanks for this. I see Facebook messenger lite in there. Whats the difference between that and regular messenger?

@Argus

Facebook messenger lite has no trackers, ads, and is faster.

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