Face­book’s soft­ware kit to blame for pop­u­lar apps crash­ing

Enterprise-Record (Chico) - - BUSINESS - By Bar­bara Or­tu­tay

OAK­LAND » Wide­spread crashes of pop­u­lar apps run­ning on the iPhone’s iOS op­er­at­ing sys­tem — in­clud­ing Tin­der, Spo­tify and Pin­ter­est — serve as a re­minder that Face­book is still track­ing you through your phone us­ing so­phis­ti­cated soft­ware, even if you’re not brows­ing the so­cial net­work.

Early Fri­day, users of the apps re­ported crashes when they tried to open them up. Face­book at­trib­uted the prob­lem, which was quickly fixed, to a bug in its soft­ware de­vel­op­ment kit, or SDK, a tool de­vel­op­ers use to in­te­grate their apps with Face­book.

The in­te­gra­tion al­lows peo­ple to use their Face­book cre­den­tials to log in to apps for dating, mu­sic or any­thing else. Google, Ap­ple and other com­pa­nies also of­fer SDKs to de­vel­op­ers.

It also al­lows the app de­vel­op­ers to send data from their app to Face­book, which tracks and mea­sures what peo­ple do on the apps. The data is use­ful both for the app de­vel­op­ers and Face­book, which uses so­phis­ti­cated sys­tems to mea­sure how peo­ple re­spond to ads, how they use its ser­vice and how much time they spend on it.

In March, the video call­ing ser­vice Zoom was sued in Cal­i­for­nia for shar­ing user data with Face­book us­ing its SDK, a prac­tice it now says it has stopped.

Face­book’s SDK caused sim­i­lar crashes in May. The com­pany said in a state­ment Fri­day that a “code change trig­gered crashes for some iOS apps us­ing the Face­book SDK.”

The crashes Fri­day hap­pened even if users were not logged in to the apps us­ing Face­book.

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