Apple has recently introduced the “App Tracking Transparency” (ATT) function in its latest iOS 14.5 update. With this update, iOS users are now able to say “no” to apps asking permission to collect their data almost all of the time. This is a major improvement to the past practice, whereby users are able to have full control of what they prefer to share.
On Thursday (13 May), an app intelligence Firm, 42matters had released the statistics on Apple’s App Store policy and transparency framework. Using the tools the Firm has to query specific data from the App Store, it was pretty much expected that the giant Apps were those that invade our privacy the most.
Apple has categorised the apps into 4 general category and they are the following:
- Data Used to Track You
- Data Linked to You
- Data Not Linked to You
- Data Not Collected
“Data used to track you” is any data type tracked by an app or third-party partner that is linked to data collected from other places about a particular end-user or device for advertising purposes.
“Data linked to you” refers to any data that could be used to identify an end-user, even if that data is not being leveraged for targeted advertising purposes. For instance, data collected when you set up an account or profile on an app.
“Data not linked to you” is data that publishers declared are not linked to an end user’s identity, such as geolocation, browser history, or others
“Data not collected” applies to apps that have at least one data type listed as “Data Not Collected.”
According to the statistic generated from Apple’s sources, Google’s Gmail is ranked first, while social giant Facebook is ranked third for the “Data linked to you” category. This is actually not so surprising as both Facebook and Google has been collecting personally identifiable information to build user profiles for advertisers.
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