WSJ: iOS Apps Go Too Far In Sharing Your Info To Third Parties
Here’s an eye opener for those who choose to share their information with iOS Applications. The Wall Street Journal has just released a very extensive article on how terrible iOS apps, and even some Android apps are at keeping your personal information a secret. You know, that specific moment when you’re asked if you wish to share your location with this app or the other before you’ve even started playing with it? Yeah, you might want to think twice from now on.
Let’s forget about calling this a security issue, the real problem here is that it seems Developers are making money off of sharing your information with third party companies. According to the article:
“An examination of 101 popular smartphone “apps”games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phonesshowed that 56 transmitted the phone’s unique device ID to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone’s location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.
The findings reveal the intrusive effort by online-tracking companies to gather personal data about people in order to flesh out detailed dossiers on them.”
“Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone’s unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone’s zip code, along with the user’s age and gender, to two of them.
Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks.”
I’d recommend you read the whole article to get a grip on how things look. Our take on it is that it’s not good. Some apps simply aren’t worth using if I don’t share my location with them, but then again, I’d expect Apple to not only approve apps for their quality, but also for their ability to keep my information secure. So far, it seems this is not the case, and yeah, Android apps are also a risk according to the article.