Normally, when an app says it collects usage data for analytics and technical support purposes, it seems harmless enough that users don’t mind them at all. But a recent report from TechCrunch and The App Analyst found a number of iOS apps that had been secretly collecting more data than whats normally acceptable to users.
The apps mentioned in the report are Air Canada, Abercrombie & Fitch, Expedia, Hotels.com along with a number of iPhone apps are using an analytics software from a company called Glassbox, their software embeds a “session replay” feature to show them exactly what users are doing while on the app.
Everything from button taps, text entered are recorded by the analytics software, although the software can be configured to block out and prevent recording sensitive data such as credit card numbers, it wasn’t always blocked out entirely.
The App Analyst demonstrated this within the Air Canada’s app by using another software to intercept the data going to Glassbox’s servers, there it showed the analytics software could screenshot sensitive data such as credit card info and user passwords.
Its worrying to think that this potentially opens up for possible data leak or misuse of information, and users are not even aware they are being recorded. Tech website Gizmodo has also uncovered a number of Android apps with similar screen capturing features last year. This means Glassbox isn’t the only analytics company with screen recording software, AppSee is another analytics company in which they even openly advertise their capture abilities to developers.
This means user should always be careful on what apps they download and what information they give to these apps.
Image Credits: Engadget