A recent study reveals that free smartphone apps for people dealing with depression or those seeking to quit smoking are sharing user data without informing or consulting users, The Verge reports. The study, published in "JAMA Network Open 2019," reveals that 33 of 36 health apps, which are available on Android and iOS app stores, shared user information that could reveal online behaviors to advertising and data analytics companies. Twenty-nine of the 36 apps transmitted data to Facebook and Google for marketing purposes while less than 50% of those companies disclosed sharing practices in their privacy policies. Some apps shared information, such as health diary entries, self reports about substance use, and usernames, the report states.
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