Your personal data is one of the most valuable possessions you have. Give away too much information, and someone could use it to steal your identity. Most of us are aware of the pitfalls and take steps to prevent abuse.
But sometimes your information can be leaked or collected in a way you don’t know. Have you ever taken the time to read the terms and conditions of an online service like Facebook?
You may be surprised to learn that many apps share your data with other third parties. Do you know which apps share your data the most? We’re going to tell you.
Here’s the backstory
Apple needs all the apps in the App Store to get your permission to share data between applications. If the app doesn’t, it will be kicked out of the App Store.
Which apps need the most access and what happens to the information being collected? Unsurprisingly, 52% of the apps tested have shared your information with third parties for targeted ads.
Apps that share most data with third parties
It should come as no surprise that social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube collect most of your information. However, it should be explained that in most cases you are happy to provide the services with your information. Here’s a list of apps that share the most data.
Top 10 apps that share most of your information:
- Instagram (79% of personal data collected)
- Facebook (57% of personal data collected)
- LinkedIn (50% of the personal data collected)
- Uber Eats (50% of personal data collected)
- Trainline (43% of personal data collected)
- YouTube (43% of personal data collected)
- YouTube Music (43% of personal data collected)
- Deliveroo (36% of personal data collected)
- Duolingo (36% of personal data collected)
- eBay (36% of personal data collected)
“YouTube is not the worst when it comes to selling your information on. That price goes to Instagram, which shares a whopping 79% of your data with other companies. Includes everything from purchase information, personal data and browsing history. No wonder there’s so much promoted content on your feed.
But just because the apps share a huge amount of your data doesn’t mean it’s for shameful reasons. In most cases, your data will be passed on to third parties associated with the app.
Apps that collect data for their own benefit
Speaking of the biggest social media apps, they’re also at the top of the list of collecting your information for their own benefit. This is done for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is to offer you ads.
In other cases, the collected data is for your benefit. Remember to receive a coupon on your birthday. The app has saved that information to send you a code and hopefully you will make a purchase.
Top 10 apps that collect data for their benefit:
- Uber Eats
- Just eat
Most invasive apps
Taking into account all the data from the study, you probably want to know who the biggest culprits are. Would it be a shock if 40% of the top 10 list are social media applications? Probably not.
Top 10 most invasive apps:
- Instagram (62% of personal data is tracked)
- Facebook (55% of personal data is tracked)
- Uber Eats (50% of personal data is tracked)
- Trainline (43% of personal data is kept)
- eBay (40% of personal information is tracked)
- LinkedIn (40% of the personal data tracked)
- Twitter (40% of personal data is tracked)
- YouTube (36% of personal data is tracked)
- YouTube Music (36% of personal data is tracked)
- Grubhub (36% of personal data is tracked)
The safest apps
With the most personal data-hungry apps out of the way, some of the safest apps in terms of the amount of data tracked can be surprising. Apps like Clubhouse, Netflix and Microsoft Teams are at the forefront of the ongoing pandemic and are in the top five.
Even with last year’s video call service Zoom’s conference error, it managed to crack the top 10.
Apps that don’t share your data:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Classroom
Apps such as Signal, Telegram and Clubhouse are very outspoken about user privacy and actively advocate data protection. Signal and Telegram saw a huge influx of users earlier this year when WhatsApp updated (and then repealed) its terms of service.