A group of security researchers in the GuardianApp group have found 24 iOS programs which were sending user location information together with other sensitive data to third parties for information monetization.
The group of investigators utilized tools that analyse network traffic to identify those programs, all which needed access to an individual’s location information. But, according to the investigators, the programs generally gave users plausible explanations for needing access for their own location information, and in several instances not mentioning that the information will be shared with third parties.
Will Strafach, among the investigators involved with locating these programs said to TechCrunch, “I think people ought to have the ability to utilize any program they prefer in their telephone without fear that granting access to sensitive information may signify that this information will probably be quietly sent to a entity who they don’t understand and don’t have any need to work with.”
According to the researchers, each of the apps they’ve identified needed access to one or more of the following:
- Bluetooth data
- Exact GPS location
- WiFi SSIDs
A Few of the programs from the record that the investigators have printed, include the likes of:
- Ask.fm: a question and answer app popular among teens, which boasts of millions of users.
- NOAA Weather Radar: a weather app which, according to the researchers, used location data it obtained for ‘providing weather information’ and sent it to three separate firms.
- Homes.com: a house finding app that uses location data to find houses nearby, but was also sending data to AreaMetrics.
There are a number of more programs, and third party data monetization services which the investigators have called in their post and you are able to give it a read to learn if some of your favorite apps are misusing your data or not.