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With App Privacy labels now available for many of the top apps in the App Store, pCloud earlier this month took a look at the most "invasive" apps that collect the most data from users.

appstoreprivacy-feature.jpg

It will come as no surprise to many that Instagram and Facebook share the most data with third-party advertisers, collecting info on purchases, location, contact details, user content, search history, browsing history, and more.

Instagram collects 79 percent of personal data, while Facebook collects 57 percent. LinkedIn and Uber Eats were also serious offenders, collecting 50 percent of data. This study was done prior to when Google shared App Privacy labels for its Google Search and Chrome apps, but YouTube and YouTube Music were found to be collecting 43 percent of personal data to share with third parties.

pcloud-instrusive-apps-the-apps-sharing-your-data-with-third-parties.png

eBay, TikTok, Duolingo, Deliveroo, and Trainline were all in the top 10 apps for data collection, with Reddit, Snapchat, Spotify, Pandora, ESPN, and CNN making the top 20.
Every time you search for a video on YouTube, 42% of your personal data is sent elsewhere. This data goes on to inform the types of adverts you'll see before and during videos, as well as being sold to brands who'll target you on other social media platforms. Instagram shares 79% of your data including browsing history and personal information with others online.

YouTube isn't the worst when it comes to selling your information on. That award goes to Instagram, which shares a staggering 79% of your data with other companies. Including everything from purchasing information, personal data, and browsing history. No wonder there's so much promoted content on your feed.

With over 1 billion monthly active users it's worrying that Instagram is a hub for sharing such a high amount of its unknowing users' data.
Apps that collect data for third-party use do so for targeting purposes, sharing the info across different apps and websites. Apps also collect data to market their own products, with Facebook and Instagram again collecting the most data in this category.

On the other end of the spectrum, apps that don't collect much data include Signal, Clubhouse, Netflix, Shazam, Etsy, Skype, and Telegram.

Starting with the launch of iOS 14.5, Apple will begin requiring apps that access a user's advertising identifier for cross-app and website tracking to get express permission before using it, which may help cut down on some of the third-party data sharing.

Prior to downloading an app, it's always worth checking out the App Privacy label to see just what data is being collected, primarily in "Data Used to Track You" and "Data Linked to You" sections, which include data collected for third-party advertising and for the developer's own advertising or marketing.

Article Link: App Privacy Study Looks at Most 'Invasive' Apps Collecting User Data
 

az431

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Sep 13, 2008
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Pointless study. These app labels are based on developer self-disclosure, and most are flat out lying.

For example, eBay does share financial info with third-parties (such as PayPal), otherwise it would be impossible to pay for a specific transaction. And does anyone seriously believe that FaceBook doesn't share browsing, search, or usage data with third-parties?
 
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az431

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now i see it

macrumors 604
Jan 2, 2002
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well in the scumbags' defense, if all their data collection only goes towards targeted advertising — BFD. So the ads you never click on or pay attention to anyway are now changed to product ads you'll still never click on or pay for — what's all the brouhaha?
Are more relevant ads that evil?

Now if they're using personal data for more nefarious purposes — then there's a BIG problem that should be made illegal with laws
 
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Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
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Apple does need to set up a process to audit these reports (with real teeth for consequences) or none of them will be realistic. It'd be like relying on the automakers to determine their own mileage or game their cars before emissions testing.

The biggest temptation would be for the devs to just lie with little downside at this point.

How about Google search by default in iOS? Or, is it exempt because Apple is getting billions in return?

This is a 3rd party report and Google Search had been held back (by Google) at this point. I think its out now. You should check it out.

But a little bright spot for your day mi7chy, you can just set your iOS default search to something else. I use DuckDuckGo.
 

jk1221

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Feb 1, 2021
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Apple does need to set up a process to audit these reports or none of them will be realistic. It'd be like relying on the automakers to determine their own mileage or game their cars before emissions testing.

The biggest temptation would be for the devs to just lie with little downside at this point.



This is a 3rd party report and Google Search had been held back (by Google) at this point. I think its out now. You should check it out.

But a little bright spot for your day mi7chy, you can just set your iOS default search to something else. I use DuckDuckGo.

Read? Whatcha mean I gots-ta read the facts!

Sigh. Google is just the easy/usual target.

And people were complaining about big bad Google and their privacy labels, meanwhile logging onto their Instagram, Facebook, Ebay, Twitter, and Uber Eats that literally steal and sell your data at rates far higher than any Google app listed for overall data collection.

But as learned in recent years some people you will never convince of factual statements no matter how much data you present them.
 
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mi7chy

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Oct 24, 2014
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But a little bright spot for your day mi7chy, you can just set your iOS default search to something else. I use DuckDuckGo.

Decent apology but probably 98% of the people out there don't even know about it. It should be opt-in at initial setup where you're asked to select the default instead of a hidden opt-out if Apple truly walks the talk about privacy.
 

DinkThifferent

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Oct 18, 2018
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Ugh. I don't use the word 'hate' very often or very easily but boy do I HATE Facebook Inc. from the bottom of my heart.

So glad I deleted Facebook in 2015 and Instagram when Facebook took the app over. It's just that stupid Whatsapp I'm stuck with!
 
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persuasiveghost

macrumors member
Dec 10, 2018
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Forgive my ignorance on this but, I always figured that the whole "sandboxing" of apps prevented apps from sharing information i.e. Safari (search history) and Facebook. Would it just be for security purposes and not privacy then?
 

Bryan Bowler

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2008
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I am SO happy that Apple is taking user privacy so seriously and working hard to put the choice into each individual user's hands. That's where it should be. Your own choice not someone else's....
 
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Pillbory

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Mar 16, 2021
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I too would really like to know the problem with the data sharing? Anyone here in the "real" know as to why, rather than just paranoid wokers.

As someone said before if it is just for Adverts I'm all for it. I'd rather see adverts I am interested in.

Are there other nefarious reasons I should be aware of? Examples? o_O
 

Blowback

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2018
954
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VA
Ugh. I don't use the word 'hate' very often or very easily but boy do I HATE Facebook Inc. from the bottom of my heart.

So glad I deleted Facebook in 2015 and Instagram when Facebook took the app over. It's just that stupid Whatsapp I'm stuck with!
Don't hold it in; not healthy....
 
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