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iOS apps and the Collection of Data


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vansmith

 
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iOS apps are more grabby with your personal data than Android apps | Ars Technica

Ars (and a few others) are reporting on a study about mobile apps and the transmission of personal data. Since I don't want to make this an Android v. iOS thread (even though the report discusses both), I'm going to exclude the Android data.

With that, here are some of the highlights:
  • 60% of the iOS apps collected location data
  • 54% of iOS apps collected contacts or e-mail addresses
  • 60% of iOS apps shared user data with ad networks or data analytics companies
Granted, only 50 free apps were studied but it's worth pointing out how easily the data is transmitted. Thankfully iOS has some relatively fine grained privacy controls but this is something to remain cognizant of when you use applications.

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Raz0rEdge

 
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I saw that article, and the privacy controls you point out are key here. Regardless of it being iOS or Android. As users, we must be diligent in ensuring that the apps we download/install on our smartphones are only given access that we deem OK and not give them free reign. The devices are becoming a consolidation of all of our information, contacts, behaviors and having access to them is an absolute treasure trove for ad networks and more..

A part of this is just the price you pay for using these services, but still good to learn to keep apps in check..

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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
As users, we must be diligent in ensuring that the apps we download/install on our smartphones are only given access that we deem OK and not give them free reign.
This is one of Android's major faults - a lack of granular control with respect to privacy. The major difference is outlined here. Essentially, Android (for those who don't know) will inform you of the permissions an app needs but won't let you grant access to select permission requests. In other words, it's all or nothing. iOS on the other hand gives you that fine control. However, iOS doesn't tell you what is being used when you install it so you have to check this manually. Regardless, the iOS solution is considerably better in this regard.

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It seems to me that iOS now ASKS before accessing things like location, contacts and photos, so users have a much better understanding of why they are being asked. If you're asked and give access, I'm not sure how this is a problem.
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The problem isn't getting asked - it's what gets sent. I can easily program an app to request permissions for your location but you would have no idea what happens to that data after you grant that permission.

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