Moves Abandons Promise Not to ‘Commingle Data With Facebook’

Companies acquired by Facebook like to promise to keep data separate. But what does Facebook buy them for, if not the data?


Moves is a fitness app designed to create a visual timeline of your fitness habits, with the goal of of helping you track workout changes and progress. The problem is the Moves team promised that their acquisition by Facebook wouldn’t result in any changes. But recent changes to the app might be an indication of just how far Facebook’s influence reaches.

Following the acquisition, Moves released a statement that it was “joining Facebook’s talented team to work on building and improving their products and services with a shared mission of supporting simple, efficient tools for more than a billion people.” That may seem fine, the other attached promises that Moves would remain a standalone app, and not “commingle data with Facebook” have since been abandoned.

According to the new privacy policy, “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).” Indeed, Facebook’s presence can be a serious taint for a company, something easily recognized after the Oculus Rift acquisition.

The same concerns have arisen with the much larger acquisition of WhatsApp. When confronted with the speculation that Facebook would change the service, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum felt compelled to post about the matter on the company blog. “If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn’t have done it,” Koum wrote. “Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously.”

But when Facebook’s colossal checkbook is involved, it seems that newly-acquired companies like Moves are willing to change their whole policy to ensure Facebook gets the data it wants. Users are already uninstalling the app.

As with most things in the data privacy game, all users had to do to agree to the new policy changes was to ignore them, according to a screenshot from the Guardian. The message reads: “By continuing to use Moves, you agree to these updates.”

*image via Facebook

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