“Third-party iOS apps are allegedly abusing background app refresh to regularly send sensitive personal information to tracking companies”
After Google and Facebook, Apple has been caught in the middle violating the privacy of individuals. According to The Washington Post, a lot of third-party iOS apps (running on iPhones and iPads) are abusing Background App Refresh to share users’ personal information to tracking companies. Since the feature is running in the background, it periodically refreshes the app’s content without the knowledge of the user.
Third-party apps are known for using trackers to gather all sorts of analytics. But, a handful of apps are sharing this data with tracking companies quite alarming. The Washington Post via Disconnect’s Privacy app found that the apps were sharing details like phone number, email, exact location, IP address, and more.
“On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms, and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email, and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with,” added the report.