On April 24, Facebook purchased the company behind fitness tracking app Moves for an undisclosed sum, effectively thrusting the social network into the fitness tracking market. As a result, people were worried that data on Moves would be commingled with Facebook. Moves allayed those concerns on its website, in emails to its users, and in a direct reply to a concerned user on Twitter. Less than two weeks later, and its talking a different story.
“We may share information, including personally identifying information, with our Affiliates (companies that are part of our corporate groups of companies, including but not limited to Facebook) to help provide, understand, and improve our Services.”
Dozens of users took to Twitter and Facebook to express their displeasure:
I love u @movesapp but I’m not too keen on u backtracking from your statement about staying “standalone”. To delete or not is the question
— Ana Santellana (@anamarie84) May 6, 2014
— M (@martano) May 6, 2014
A Facebook spokesperson responded to an inquiry by Mashable, reiterating that it has no plans on merging FB data with Moves. However, the company needs access to the Moves data in order to provide support, which includes “performing technical maintenance and developments of the service that improve the experience with the app.” In other words, Moves won’t commingle data with Facebook, but will share data with it. An odd distinction to make, especially in this case.
Even so, it’s still something that troubles Center for Digital Democracy Jeffrey Chester. “It’s still a loss of privacy, but they’re covering it up with semantics,” said Chester. “This raises very disturbing privacy concerns.”Chester plans to bring up Moves’ policy changes in a meeting with the Federal Trade Commission.
Until then, one iOS developer plans to take advantage of all the hoopla:
— Alexei Kuznetsov (@eofster) May 6, 2014