New Report Claims iOS Apps Leak More Personal Data Than Android Apps Do
According to a recently released study by Appthority, the most popular free apps on Apple’s iOS platform are sharing significantly more user data than the most popular apps on Google’s Android platform. Appthority’s App Report for February 2013 looked at the top performing free mobile apps across both the iOS and Android platform. Surprisingly, despite Android’s reputation as a less secure platform, it was found that iOS apps were allowed to engage in more risky behaviors.
The study found that all 50 of the top free iOS apps along with 92% of the top 50 free Android apps, both send and receive data without encryption. As of right now, iOS apps get more access to user data with 60% of the top apps tracking user location, 54% having access to a user’s contact list, 60% sharing data with ad or analytics networks, and 14% accessing users’ calendars.
When compared with the Android platform, Android apps shared data with ad networks, while 42% tracked user locations. Only 20% of Android app had access to users’ contact lists and none were found to access the calendar. Entertainment apps were found to be the loosest with user data with games and business apps close behind. Educational and finance apps were found to display the fewest risky behaviors for those of you who were wondering.
Although a number of questionable policies and security concerns have painted Google’s Android platform as inherently less secure than Apple’s iOS platform, Android does appear to be more prone to malware than iOS. It should be noted that mobile malware only affects only one percent of apps. The larger concern, the study concludes though that we should be focusing on how mobile apps handle personal information and company data.