Every is aware that mobile apps collect user data and ship it off to for someone to collect. However, a recently released study has revealed that 73-percent of Android apps and 47-percent of Apple apps shared the user’s personal information with third parties.
While it looks like Android apps are more likely to reveal user data to others, this was mostly limited to email addresses. Some 49-percent of Android apps transmitted user names, 33-percent sent GPS coordinates, and 24-percent sent the device’s IMEI.
iOS apps in general do not share as much user information, possibly because Apple is more than happy to keep that information for itself. 47-percent of the analysed apps sent user location data to third party servers, with 18-percent sending names and 16-percent sending email addresses.
The problem here isn’t so much that user information is being shared, but rather that it is done without the knowledge of the user. These apps do not make it clear that the user information is being shared, and fewer still reveal who is able to receive the data. Some of the recipients are quite clearly market research firms looking for data, but others are less clear. For instance Pinterest sent names to domains like yoz.io.facebook.com, crittercism.com, and flurry.com.
Overall, the average Android app sent user information to 3.6 third party domains; while iOS apps on average connected to 2.6 third party domains. The researchers are recommending that privacy minded individuals lie when providing information for apps, seeing as this is likely the most efficient way to keep their personal information private.