There has been a storm of complaints this week following recent research claims that, despite Apple’s supposedly firm privacy policies, multiple IOS and Mac App Store apps have been gathering user data and uploading it to their analytics servers.
It was first revealed that more than two dozen IOS apps, including weather and fitness trackers, have been collecting their users’ private information, such as location and user habits, and sending this information to data monetization firms. According to the security report conducted by security researcher Will Strafach from the Sudo Security Group’s GuardianApp, popular apps such as GasBuddy, MyRadar, PayByPhone Parking and run tracking app C25K 5K Trainer contain tracking code and are responsible for the misappropriation of users’ data. RevealMobile, a monetization firm that has previously been accused of over collecting location data through popular weather apps, is implicated in this research, along with 12 other data monetization firms.
Later this weekend, it was also revealed that Adware Doctor, an app that ironically pledges to protect Apple Mac users from privacy threats, is collecting information from users’ browsing histories and storing it on their own server, located in China. Priced at $14.99, it was previously listed in the top 10 Apps on the App store amidst a plethora of sparkling reviews revealing customer’s misguided trust in its services.
Following this, it was revealed that similar apps by a developer who claims to be “Trend Micro, Inc.”, had been collecting users’ browser history from Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox and uploading it to their servers.
Apple has already removed certain Apps such as Adware Doctor from their App store, and is expected to pull others from the App store immediately. The company have also announced that they will be adding security measures in the next release of macOS, Mojave, to help prevent the sharing of users’ private data.