Privacy groups are considering asking the federal government to intervene in Facebook’s recent purchase of fitness app Moves.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy both said Tuesday that they are considering asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Facebook’s acquisition of Moves.
The new policy says the company “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.”
A Facebook spokeswoman said Tuesday that Moves user data will not be integrated into Facebook's profiles of users.
Instead, the company will use the data to to support the app, the spokeswoman said.
Privacy advocates expressed concerns about the updated policy.
Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said he is “exploring FTC regulatory action.”
The Center for Digital Democracy and the Electronic Privacy Information Center asked the FTC to weigh in earlier this year over concerns about Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp.
Horwitz said one potential plan of action would be to ask the FTC to intervene in a supplemental filing to her group’s original complaint to the agency about the WhatsApp deal.
“They built in this little loophole” that is often found in tech companies’ privacy policies, she said.
Another difference is that Moves, as a fitness app, handles health and fitness data, while WhatsApp is a messaging and communications service, Horwitz said.
She said her group “might alert the FTC that this is a particularly sensitive area for consumers” and therefore warrants a close examination.