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Health apps come with warnings after private data given to Facebook, Google

New Zealand doctors and patients are being warned to be cautious when using digital apps to help with things such as depression or quitting smoking.

The warnings follow an international study that found many apps prescribed to patients pass on private data to outside sources, such as Facebook or Google.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales and Harvard Medical School examined highly-ranked apps used for depression and quitting smoking.

Of 36 apps they looked at, 33 sent data to outside organisations, and 29 sent data to Facebook or Google.

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