A new study by Appthority reveals something totally catawampus, something that would definitely raise more eyebrows. We all know how malicious apps on Android are a constant threat to user’s privacy and how malicious content is on the rise on Google’s mobile platform. But, what we do not know is that iOS apps also collect a lot of supplementary user information (?); in fact, they even out do Android apps in this department.
Wondering where did that come from?
The study was conducted on 100 free apps- 50 Android apps and 50 iOS apps, spread across five different categories. The study found out that all iOS apps used unencrypted connection for sending/receiving data, while only 8% Android apps used encrypted information.
The report further explains how iOS apps collect more information when compared to Android apps. For instance, 60% of iOS apps collect location data, while that number for Android is 42%. 54% iOS apps collect email information, while only 20% Android apps do that. The study also reveals that iOS apps shared more data with ad networks when compared to Android apps.
You can dig up more details on the study by clicking on the source link attached below.
Though the study portrays a rugged, presumable picture, we feel that the number of apps studied is a little less for drawing concrete conclusions. Fifty apps are far too less for any sort of generalization. Besides, the study does not consider various genuine aspects. Like- do these apps force a user to grant permission, or they secretly do it? Is a user notified of the actions? And we doubt if the study considered picking up random apps from categories. If the apps were hand-picked, that narrows down the analysis even further.
The study, however, proves the subtle point that when it comes to Top grossing apps, iOS apps might have a slightly greater tendency to muster more data than its counterpart. That being said, the inference cannot be applied to each and every top grossing app.
Apps on App Store as well as Play Store, generally take up more permissions from user than required. For instance- Why does a shooting game need permission to read SMS/ make calls? Why does a newsreader app require permission to capture photos? If Apple and Google could filter the permission owned by each and every app and make sure they only do what they intend to do, maybe we would have less privacy concerns. Also, while downloading/installing, apps should clearly mention what permissions they need and why they need it. Everything should be mentioned in plain, easy-to-understand language. Most people don’t understand complex tech jargons. And, Apple as well as Google should devise mechanisms that prevents apps from identifying user preferences and collecting personal data.