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Motion-tracking app Moves said it wouldn't share your data with Facebook, but it's going to anyway

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A few weeks ago, Facebook purchased the company behind fitness-tracking app Moves— and as is often the case when Facebook snaps up a company, Moves users were immediately concerned about what might happen to their data. The company tried to head that off in its blog post announcing the acquisition, saying "the Moves experience will continue to operate as a standalone app, and there are no plans to change that or commingle data with Facebook."

However, in less than two weeks, the company has already gone back on that promise. As noted by The Wall Street Journal , Moves updated its privacy policy last night to state that it may share user data (including personally identifying information) with other companies, "including but not limited to Facebook." (The earlier privacy policy can be viewed here.) That sounds an awful lot like the "commingling" that the company said it was looking to avoid. While Moves is a relatively small app, it comes at a time when Facebook's many recent acquisitions are sparking concerns about what the world might look like as the company integrates itself further and further into users' lives.

While Moves is well within its right to change its policies — its original privacy policy specifically called out an acquisition as a situation in which its stance towards sharing data with third parties might change — it's odd given the company's note upon being purchased that things would stay the same. Indeed, there appears to be some friction between the new privacy policy and what Facebook and Moves are saying publicly. A Facebook spokesperson reiterated that commitment to keep data separate to the WSJyesterday while simultaneously admitting that the two companies plan to share the data.

Facebook sent The Verge a statement clarifying that statement to the WSJ regarding the Moves privacy policy, noting that has "no plans" to identify Moves users who are also Facebook users. However, as owner of Moves, Facebook will need to see the data that Moves collects from users to provide "support and services" as part of maintaining the app. It sounds as if Facebook will see user data, but it won't know whether or not that data is tied to a Facebook account and thus it won't serve ads to a user based on that location data, for example. Facebook's full statement is below.

Commingling, or merging, data would allow us to identify Moves users who are also Facebook users — we have no plans to do that. In other words, Facebook is not adding Moves user data to a Facebook user’s Facebook account. But, Facebook will be providing support and services to the Moves app and to be able to do this, we have to have access to the data that Moves already collects from its users — which is "sharing" data.

From: The Verge

Words translated by CCJK

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