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Security & privacy

52% of apps share your data – See the biggest offenders

Your personal data is one of the most valuable assets that you have. Give away too much information, and somebody could use it to steal your identity. Most of us are aware of the pitfalls and take steps to prevent any exploits.

But sometimes, your information can be leaked or gathered through means unaware to you. Have you ever taken the time to read through the terms and conditions of an online service like Facebook? Tap or click here for the eight apps you need to delete from your phone now.

It might come as a surprise to you to learn that many apps share your data with other third parties. Do you know which apps share the most of your data? We’re about to tell you.

Here’s the backstory

Apple requires all apps on its App Store to get your permission to share data across applications. If the app fails to do so, it will be kicked off the App Store.

With Apple’s updated privacy policy in mind, pCloud did some digging to determine how different apps use your data and where the information goes. While you can revoke an app’s access, it will often require all your device’s functions requested to work.

So which apps require the most access, and what happens to the information that’s collected? Unsurprisingly, 52% of the apps tested shared your information with third parties for targeted advertising.

Apps that share the most data with third parties

It should be no shock that social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube collect the most of your information. It must be explained, though, that you willingly supply the services with your information in most cases. Here’s a list of apps sharing the most data.

Top 10 apps that share the most of your information:

  1. Instagram (79% of personal data collected)
  2. Facebook (57% of personal data collected)
  3. LinkedIn (50% of personal data collected)
  4. Uber Eats (50% of personal data collected)
  5. Trainline (43% of personal data collected)
  6. YouTube (43% of personal data collected)
  7. YouTube Music (43% of personal data collected)
  8. Deliveroo (36% of personal data collected)
  9. Duolingo (36% of personal data collected)
  10. eBay (36% of personal data collected)

“YouTube isn’t the worst when it comes to selling your information on. That award goes to Instagram, which shares a staggering 79% of your data with other companies. Including everything from purchasing information, personal data, and browsing history. No wonder there’s so much promoted content on your feed,” pCloud noted.

Apps that share data
Image: pCloud

But just because the apps share a massive amount of your data doesn’t mean that it’s for nefarious reasons. In most cases, your data is passed on to third parties who are associated with the app.

Apps that collect data for their own benefit

Speaking of the biggest social media apps, they are also at the top of the list of collecting your information for their own benefit. This is done for several reasons, but the most common is to serve you advertising.

In other cases, the data collected is for your benefit. Think about receiving a discount coupon on your birthday. The app stored that info to send you a code, and hopefully, you make a purchase.

Top 10 apps that collect data for their benefit:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Klarna
  4. Grubhub
  5. Uber
  6. Uber Eats
  7. eBay
  8. Just Eat
  9. LinkedIn
  10. Twitter
Apps share data for own benefit
Image: pCloud

Most invasive apps

Taking all the data from the study into account, you are probably eager to find out who the biggest culprits are. Well, would it be a shock if 40% of the top 10 list are social media applications? Probably not.

Top 10 most invasive apps:

  1. Instagram (62% of personal data tracked)
  2. Facebook (55% of personal data tracked)
  3. Uber Eats (50% of personal data tracked)
  4. Trainline (43% of personal data tracked)
  5. eBay (40% of personal data tracked)
  6. LinkedIn (40% of personal data tracked)
  7. Twitter (40% of personal data tracked)
  8. YouTube (36% of personal data tracked)
  9. YouTube Music (36% of personal data tracked)
  10. Grubhub (36% of personal data tracked)

The safest apps

With the most personal data-hungry apps out of the way, some of the safest app in terms of the amount of data that’s tracked can be surprising. Thrust into prominence during the ongoing pandemic, apps like Clubhouse, Netflix and Microsoft Teams are in the top five.

Even with video calling service Zoom’s conferencing flaw from last year, it managed to crack the top 10.

Apps that don’t share your data:

  1. Signal
  2. Clubhouse
  3. Netflix
  4. Microsoft teams
  5. Google Classroom
  6. Shazam
  7. Etsy
  8. Skype
  9. Telegram
  10. Boohoo

Apps like Signal, Telegram and Clubhouse have been extremely vocal on user privacy, and actively advocate for data protection. Signal and Telegram saw a massive influx of users earlier this year when WhatsApp updated (and subsequently retracted) its terms of service.

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