Mobile Application Privacy: Apple Reveals User Data Collected

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Timothy R. Primrose, Mobile Forensic Analyst

Apple has provided users with a simple way to review data retained when particular applications are utilized. The recent release of iOS 14.3 allows users to access privacy information from respective application privacy pages on the App Store. In addition to descriptions, pictures, and reviews, some transparency as to what user information is gathered during app-use is now available.

Many popular applications retain an alarming amount of information that is either linked to the user or used to track the user. For example, Facebook’s product page on the App Store has a long list of the data they collect from app users, broken down by purpose. If data is collected for third-party advertising, there is a specific list of what datatypes are collected for this purpose. There are 12 categories of datatypes that Facebook collects for third-party advertising. These lists can look rather long; however, some of these datatypes, such as financial information, are collected once and distributed to multiple purposes.

The popular entertainment application TikTok has 800 million users worldwide. Below are screenshots that depict how to access the app privacy page.

Tik Tok Privacy

Once you locate the product page of an application, scroll down past the description and reviews to find the App Privacy section. Click “See Details” in the upper right-hand corner to view the privacy information for the application.

Take the time to see what data companies are gathering from you or your children. Social media, games, and other applications are designed to entertain users. Be cautious with how much data you provide and monitor your privacy.

Timothy R. Primrose, Mobile Forensic Analyst with DJS Associates, Inc., can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

 

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