In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, most mobile apps collect and share sensitive personal data with third parties, new research claims.
TechShielder researchers analyzed the most downloaded apps in 2021, examining their privacy policies to better understand how they handle data collection, storage, and sharing.
As it turns out, 60% of the world’s most used mobile apps harvest and preserve data generated through people’s private conversations. Moreover, 80% collect data about the messages that users send and receive. Finally, all apps collect at least basic information, such as phone numbers or email addresses.
Storage of cookies and user-generated content
Besides sensitive data, most apps also look to get cookies, which are small files that contain important information, such as login details. Nearly two-thirds (60%) store data on user-generated content, while half (50%) have access to photos and videos that users keep at their endpoints.
Community awareness of online privacy has risen in the past couple of years, since the general public has gotten a better understanding of how much money companies make from user data. As most companies have switched to data companies, the number of data breaches has also gone up.
This, therefore, led to more fraud and ultimately – more money lost. Law enforcement and lawmakers have joined the fray in search of protecting consumers with better legal frameworks (think GDPR) and faster responses.
Today, consumers are caught in a dilemma between sharing data with businesses, getting more personalized offers and an overall better user experience, and keeping their private lives private and safe from potential cybercriminals involved in identity theft. (Opens in a new tab).
Companies stumble between collecting and using data to beat the competition on the one hand, and cybercriminals looking to exploit their data protection weaknesses on the other.
Via: VentureBeat (Opens in a new tab)