Study: iOS apps leaked more user data than Android apps, but of the more benign kind

Study: iOS apps leaked more user data than Android apps, but of the more benign kind
Android usually gets a lot of flak for being prone to hacking and leaking personal info, ubiquitous as it is. Research from digital security firm Zscaler, however, pegs iOS apps to be a bit leakier in terms of user info, though most of the information that emanates from mobile apps there in general was found to be pretty benign.

On average, Android apps that passed through the company's cloud transaction, leaked user data in 0.3% of the cases, while that figure was 0.5% for iOS apps, yet the number there is derived from a larger sample. Both are not big numbers, though, plus it is mostly device info and location data that are shared.

Only a fraction of the leaked data was found to be personally identifiable info (PII). This is where Android and iOS differ again - just 0.2% of the iOS leaks included PII data, while on Android that share was 3%. The geographic distribution of the leaky apps is also pretty interesting - 70% of iOS privacy-related traffic comes from China, while for Android it's from US and UK. Not very surprising, given the come-and-go state of Google Services on Android phones in China.

source: Zscaler



1. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Clarification would be needed, in terms of what this is 'leaked' and what 'location' is? ip? gps location? which? what devices? And at least by the written definition, metadata which has unique id's and network data can be used for gathering personal identification information, soo, none of this on both sides is good. :(

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Right on! This stat as it's presented, isn't clear enough to comprehend what exactly was leaked, and how. This is vaugue, literally.

2. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

This is where Android and iOS differ again - just 0.2% of the iOS leaks included PII data, while on Android that share was 3%. Damn Google must do something about this....

4. AllFanboysMatter

Posts: 206; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Phonearena - Let me preface this by saying I usually have no problem with you guys, but please here me out. YOUR ADS ARE RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! The ads on this website have made my 12-core computer slow down. It's sometimes a damn slideshow due to this giant bigbang theory ads, various kevin hart show ads, and other nonsense you guys have allowed to disrupt my viewing. How DARE you guys try to force readers to disable adblock by not allowing users to comment? Readers have helped build this damn website. How in the hell are you guys going to treat us like this? It is ridiculous to think that all of us have stood by your side regardless of any biased reporting. But, to completely ignore this and give your loyal readers and visitors and absolutely horrible viewing experience should be illegal. I'd expect this out of a website like Engadget. I might expect this out of those other poorly run websites like gizmodo...but phonearena? If you guys truly expect to be the leader one day when it comes to mobile phone reporting and reviewing, you guys need to make some serious changes to your priorities. Please keep in mind I'm saying this out of love for the website and what it brings us daily readers. Bud DAMMIT, my 12-core desktop computer with a damn 980 GPU should not be slowing down AT ALL. PLEASE TAKE THIS INTRUSIVE ADS DOWN IMMEDIATELY Best regards, -EVERYONE

5. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

i have complained about it too. The advertisements on this website are way too many. I recently used a VPN service and pinged by computer to a US server and boy ooh boy, guys in the US accessing this website are surely having a terrible time reading articles and reviews. You are there trying to scroll through an article and the whole background is some video playing. You try to open the carousel images on articles and each image comes with an advert. Other articles suddenly pop out videos from the center not forgetting that there are other google banners everywhere. Its high time they toned down a bit. If you use adblocker, they have a way of making adblocker block the comment boxes. So if you want to comment on articles you must turn off adblocker first. PHONEARENA TAKE NOTE OF THE TONS AND TONS OF ADVERTISEMENTS EVERYWHERE!!!!!

6. libra89

Posts: 2338; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yes, I'm so tired of it. There has been a stupid ad with a rocket/missle coming up from the bottom of the screen to the top for a while now. Every day, multiple times a day. It's exhausting. One day I made the mistake of coming here on my mobile browser...and I regretted that enough to not even read what I came there for.

7. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

I nearly downloaded an adware remover only to realize that it was phonearena that had those stupid advertisements slowing down my computer. It is like being in a library trying to read with a whole bunch of f*cktards in the background making noise all over. That rocket scared me to hell and back.

11. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Tell me what browser you use and I'll tell you an ad blocker that works and still allows you to comment, Unless you use MS's Edge that is.

13. Marienx

Posts: 123; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

10000000000000000000 agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8. Tones

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Well said. This site is ridiculous. I wouldn't dare go near it at home without ad blockers on. Thankfully it still works with phone ad blockers. I would happily disable my ad blocker for a couple of non intrusive ad's. Not on this site though.

9. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

The phone book leaked thousands of addresses/phone numbers/names!#$@#$

10. AlikMalix unregistered

Sonoma tot info leaked for android apps is in the US and Europe and most of leaks for iOS apps in China. I guess iOS users should not worry in the US but as android user in the US I would stop using apps. I think that's the polarity of the matter. Appple needs to crack down on Chinese App Store.

12. AlikMalix unregistered

*So most of info....*

14. straightfromhell

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

So what? Can't enjoy iphone with all this apps anyway

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless