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iOS apps may be more likely to collect and transmit unencrypted personal data than Android

Posted: , by Michael H.

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iOS apps may be more likely to collect and transmit unencrypted personal data than Android
There's always a lot of discussion about personal data, so it's always good to be informed about how and when your personal data is used, as well as making sure you understand the downsides and benefits of the trade-off, and the difference between personal data and personally identifiable data. It's a complex issue, so it's no wonder that opinions on the topic cover a wide range. Appthority wants to help add to that discussion, and has found that iOS apps may be more likely to collect and transmit your personal data without encryption than Android.

The first thing that has to be mentioned is that Appthority only looked at 100 free apps, 50 each on Android and iOS, covering five categories. So, this study may not give concrete evidence on the subject. On the iOS side, it was found that 60% of the iOS apps checked collected location data, 54% collected contacts or e-mail addresses, 60% shared user data with ad networks, and 50% used some sort of single sign-on (Facebook, Twitter, or Google). 

Android was slightly lower almost across the board with 42% collecting location data, only 20% collected contacts or e-mail addresses, 50% shared data with ad networks, and 50% used single sign-on.

What is a bit more disconcerting though is the fact that none of the iOS apps transferred personal data with encryption, and only 8% of Android apps used encryption. Depending on the apps tested, the data collection may or may not be all that bad, but regardless of the app in question, it is unacceptable for apps to transmit personal data without encryption. 

Appthority also says that "less than 1%" of Android apps in the Play Store contain malware, which seems to confirm other numbers we've seen on the subject. But, it's just a bit odd because if Appthority only studied 50 apps, anything less than 2% gives you a fraction of an app, which isn't possible. 

16 Comments
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posted on 06 Mar 2013, 13:49 7

1. tedkord (Posts: 4288; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Both platforms need to work on this. Never mind encryption, there's no need to be sending contacts information period.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 15:16 2

5. darkkjedii (Posts: 10127; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Exactly Ted... It should be 0.00% across the board for both platforms.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 01:34 2

15. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


but the point is that iOS is really more dangerous platform.....see another problems:
http://www.phonearena.com/news/40-of-iOS-apps-invade-your-privacy-without-permission-reveals-app-before-getting-pulled_id32483

with Android you have to allow it before any installation with iOS you can do nothing

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 13:54 1

2. Ninetysix (Posts: 1375; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Slow news :)

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 14:57 1

3. BackHandLegend (Posts: 80; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)


If Apple had anything going for them you wouldn't be complaining about slow news.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 15:19

6. darkkjedii (Posts: 10127; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Apple has a ton going for them, their the most valuable company in the world. However this isn't about that, it's about a glaring weakness in both platforms that needs to be fixed.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 15:22 7

7. BackHandLegend (Posts: 80; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)


The most valuable company in the world = Exxon

While I do agree with you about how both have weaknesses, Apple in theory should have them sorted out because they are in total control of their iPhones. Not the carrier, not the user, but Apple. They should've already cleaned up the mess that iOS 6 has caused yet it seems like every week and with every update there is a kink that needs to be worked out.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 16:02

9. darkkjedii (Posts: 10127; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Both platforms should have them all sorted out. I know you wanna make it a flame war but I'm thru going there. Take all the jabs at apple you want, but lets hope it doesn't affect your phone at some point.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 02:48 1

16. BackHandLegend (Posts: 80; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)


I'm not trying to insinuate anything. Sure I do act immature sometimes just like anyone else here, only when mxy or some other douche comments and tries to bash without seeing the reality. I have an HTC Evo 3D. I HOPE my personal data never leaks out in any way but I do know it is a POSSIBILITY. I don't like Apple products but I don't want them to disappear because having no choice on what mobile OSes are available would be boring.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 16:29 1

11. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


You make a great point. I thought the walled garden was tight like Ft Knox...

Seems like thats a myth...along with many other iPhone, IOS, Apple myths.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 15:51 3

8. General.Levy (banned) (Posts: 6; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


I wonder why PhoneArena hasn't banned you're other account you're known as: Sithvnger

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 16:04

10. darkkjedii (Posts: 10127; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Who cares dude. I mean really what was even the point in saying that? Everyone on this site knows that, and has known it forever and a day.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 19:33 3

13. lyndon420 (Posts: 1688; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I found out just now :-) (just sayin')

But why multiple accounts anyway? (just wonderin')

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 14:58 3

4. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Let the flame war begin. Sorry but you gotta know its coming.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 16:48 5

12. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


This definitly proves that an open system can be just as secure, if not more secure than closed systems. But this isn't good news for either company. No flame war with this one.

posted on 06 Mar 2013, 20:22 1

14. shuaibhere (Posts: 1297; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


This is exactly what i was thinking...
+1 for you...

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