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Here’s who else PayPal, Venmo, Cash app are sharing your data with

Millions of people have turned to mobile payments on their phones as a way of splitting pizzas, rents and the like, instead of having to pull out cash and pay the old-fashioned way. 

Especially during this COVID-19 crisis, many are ditching the use of paper money, which can gather germs, and choosing to pay electronically. Peer-to-peer mobile payments is easier and cleaner than pulling out a credit card, instead, just open the app, choose the person and dollar figure, and click send. 

The apps are all free, but some can come at a great cost.

What most people don’t realize is that when they pay their friends with them, in many instances they’re giving up valuable information about themselves that gets shared with a host of data companies, a process that happens in the background without the choice of opting in or out.

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A review on behalf of USA TODAY has found that two of the most popular apps, Cash and Venmo routinely pass on personal information to third-party data firms.

Security researcher Patrick Jackson of security firm Disconnect, which makes apps to curb website tracking, monitored our phone as we made the transactions to find which apps were sharing. 

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