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Old 10 September 2018, 02:46 PM   #1
sickened1
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Dozens of iPhone apps constantly sending location data to Data Monetization firms

Just came across this article. I use Tapatalk and it's listed as one of those apps (Photobucket, GasBuddy, etc are among others).

Link to the original article on TechCrunch

A group of security researchers say dozens of popular iPhone apps are quietly sharing the location data of “tens of millions of mobile devices” with third-party data monetization firms.

Almost all require access to a user’s location data to work properly, like weather and fitness apps, but share that data often as a way to generate revenue for free-to-download apps.

In many cases, the apps send precise locations and other sensitive, identifiable data “at all times, constantly,” and often with “little to no mention” that location data will be shared with third-parties, say security researchers at the GuardianApp project.

“I believe people should be able to use any app they wish on their phone without fear that granting access to sensitive data may mean that this data will be quietly sent off to some entity who they do not know and do not have any desire to do business with,” said Will Strafach, one of the researchers.

Using tools to monitor network traffic, the researchers found 24 popular iPhone apps that were collecting location data — like Bluetooth beacons to Wi-Fi network names — to know where a person is and where they visit. These data monetization firms also collect other device data from the accelerometer, battery charge status and cell network names.

n exchange for data, often these data firms pay app developers to collect data and grow their databases and often to deliver ads based on a person’s location history.

But although many claim they don’t collect personally identifiable information, Strafach said that latitude and longitude coordinates can pin a person to a house or their work.

Here's another link with some of the apps list there
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Old 10 September 2018, 05:11 PM   #2
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I’m not sure how they can do that if you have your location services etc off. If they are getting it from the WiFi you use that will only tell them the tower your linked to. Idk just doesn’t make sense
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Old 10 September 2018, 05:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by City74 View Post
I’m not sure how they can do that if you have your location services etc off. If they are getting it from the WiFi you use that will only tell them the tower your linked to. Idk just doesn’t make sense


I think it’s more that those apps mandate permission to use your location in order to function.

e.g. local weather apps based on your live GPS coordinates.

It’s the passing of these data on which is being highlighted. The end user agrees with the app to share their location in return for accurate real time information, but then unbeknownst to the end user the app then sends these same data to data gathering firms etc.

Certainly in Europe the recent GDPR legislation which came into effect seeks to control data collection and sharing but I’m sure it will take years for the first test cases to come through.
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Old 10 September 2018, 08:04 PM   #4
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I think it’s more that those apps mandate permission to use your location in order to function.

e.g. local weather apps based on your live GPS coordinates.

It’s the passing of these data on which is being highlighted. The end user agrees with the app to share their location in return for accurate real time information, but then unbeknownst to the end user the app then sends these same data to data gathering firms etc.

Certainly in Europe the recent GDPR legislation which came into effect seeks to control data collection and sharing but I’m sure it will take years for the first test cases to come through.


No I disagree. I never give an app permission to use my location and I still use Tapatalk and weather apps etc. I just type in my city on weather apps. It doesn’t know my home, just general local. Most of the apps you can hit “no” when they ask permission and you can still use the apps anyways


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Old 10 September 2018, 09:59 PM   #5
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When I have looked at my location settings in my iPhone it seems there are 3 options. Yes, no and only when using. Some apps do not have the only when using option. I generally turn them off along with all the others I keep off.

The other thing to check is under your security settings, the microphone. Look what has access to your mic, you will be surprised. And some are doing the same thing with your audio they can legally get. Instagram is a big one. Those ads aren’t “random” if your mic is turned on.


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Old 11 September 2018, 04:25 PM   #6
Burlington
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No I disagree. I never give an app permission to use my location and I still use Tapatalk and weather apps etc. I just type in my city on weather apps. It doesn’t know my home, just general local. Most of the apps you can hit “no” when they ask permission and you can still use the apps anyways


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Then it wouldn’t apply ! However for some apps it is necessary or the software simply won’t function.
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Old 12 September 2018, 12:28 AM   #7
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Tapatalk was a horrible 15min experience.
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