Apps are becoming an integral part of modern life. They allow us to monitor our finances, connect with friends, play games, watch media, and do many other things that make our lives easier.
But while we get information from the apps, what information do the apps get from us in return and how can we stay safe with it?
We analyzed many of the most popular free apps on the App Store to find out how much information they require from the user to access their service.
The data collected often includes things necessary for the service, such as contact and payment information, but sometimes also information about the user’s health and fitness and sensitive and confidential data.
The Apps That Collect the Most Info
Launched in December 2020, Apple’s privacy label allows iPhone users to see what data is being collected about them and how online slots apps (سلوتس بمال حقيقي) handle it before downloading.
Apps owned by Metaverse collect the most data. Instagram, Facebook and Facebook Messenger collect all sorts of information, including data about your health and fitness and even sensitive information that can be used to personally identify you!
While Instagram is rated 4.6 stars out of 5 by users and Facebook Messenger 3.9 stars out of 5, Facebook itself only gets a weak rating of 1.8.
The next biggest intruder is the PayPal app, which collects 81% of all possible data types. Unlike the Facebook apps, no sensitive information or health data is collected, but the app may request access to your photos and videos.
LinkedIn, the social network for business networking, collects the same amount of data, but no browser data, such as history, are stored here, as with PayPal and the Facebook apps. Instead, confidential information is collected, as well as emails and text messages.
Other well-known apps that collect a large amount of data are YouTube, Amazon, and TikTok.
Top Rated Apps & Privacy
Some of the top-rated apps in the App Store turned out to collect the most data, but not all.
The top-rated app with a score of 4.9, the e-scooter and bike app Lime, is even one of the better apps in terms of privacy: it only collects 31% of all possible data, most of which is for the functionality of the app is required, such as the user’s login data.
Too Good to Go, a food-sharing network, also scored 4.9, but recorded only slightly higher at 38%.
However, the third-best rating of 4.8 stars went to PayPal, which the research also found to be one of the apps that collects large amounts of customer data.
The Most Frequently Collected Information
Not surprisingly, information required to provide functionality is the most commonly collected data. This includes, for example, product interaction and user ID, as well as performance data such as crash data or login data such as your email address
All apps also collected search history (56%), items purchased (54%), approximate location (48%), and photos or videos (47%).
Sensitive information collected by apps like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tinder and Amazon was collected by only 8% overall. The least retained data was fitness information – this was only collected from Facebook.
Check What Data Is Collected
When using apps, it’s important to know how to check what information is being held about you.
- Android – The exact names of the settings may vary from device to device, but the approximate procedure is to visit your settings and select “Privacy” and “Permissions Manager”. This allows you to see which apps can access your data by permission type.
Alternatively, you can also go to the “Apps” menu in Settings and check what permissions are allowed for each app.
- Apple – On the Settings page, select Privacy to see what categories of data can be collected by permission type. To see the data collected by each app, find and select the apps in the Settings menu.
However, it should be noted that these methods only show what data can be collected from your phone. For full details about what information each service may collect about you, you should read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of each Service.
Stay Safe Online
As technology becomes more integrated into our lives, it is becoming more and more natural to share information online that we would previously have considered personal and private.
Much of this information can be used against us by hackers or fraudsters. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be mindful of what you share online and how you use the internet.
It’s not just malicious intent that we need to be wary of, however. Many companies sell their customer data, which can be used for advertising and marketing purposes.
Here are some tips on how to protect yourself online:
- Avoid social media posts related to your birthday. A common type of post, particularly on Facebook and Instagram, is to provide names or identities based on your birthday and month, e.g. “Your superhero name is the month you were born and the day you were born ‘, with two separate lists of names. While it’s fun, posting your answers can identify your birthday, which is often used as security information for apps and services.
- Do not include your birthday when signing up for services. Unless it is essential (such as on government sites to confirm your identity or when booking a flight), you should be careful when signing up for certain services.
- Avoid tagging your best friend in posts that ask for it. Similar to posts asking about your birthday, posts asking you to tag your best friend might be trying to figure out the answer to a general security question.
- Don’t follow a link to a quiz on social media. Many of these questionnaires, particularly personality quizzes, require you to log in with your user account and in this way can collect much of the information that social media has about you without you realizing it.
- Be careful what you post on social media. Even if you want to share your birthday parties or holiday pictures, not only online scammers but also local criminals can use this information to find out when you are away from your house.