Popular apps that you love are super-invasive and share your data, finds report

Instagram and Facebook are reportedly the worst privacy offenders as they share around 79 and 57 percent of their users’ data with third-party companies. 

Data privacy has become increasingly important to consumers today. Ever since the news of Facebook inappropriately obtaining the data of its 87 million users broke, users of Facebook and various digital platforms have become extremely concerned about their privacy. While privacy concerns were at the top priority of the users, many apps found their way into the market by offering users the digital protection they want.

But honestly, there’s nothing called as perfect privacy in the digital world. This recently has been proved by a privacy-centric cloud storage firm called pCloud.  Just after Apple’s introduction of privacy labels in the App Store, pCloud decided to take a deep gaze into the mobile apps that are being excessively and regularly used in order to determine which apps share the most amount of users’ personal data.

According to the Invasive apps study, pCloud found that Instagram and Facebook are the most invasive apps and collect user’s data for their own benefit. As per the study, the photo-sharing and Facebook-owned Instagram is reportedly the worst privacy offender as it shares around 79 percent of its users’ data with third-party companies. Apart from this, Facebook, the parent company of Instagram itself has secured the second position in the list by sharing around 57 percent of the users’ data.  

Interestingly, the so-called end-to-end encryption-based messaging site, WhatsApp was unable to make it to the list despite facing heavy backlash from its users for its controversial privacy policies. What’s more shocking is that even social media platforms like LinkedIn and Uber sell their users’ data to a third party. The networking platform LinkedIn and cab sharing platform Uber were found to sell around 50 percent of its users’ data.

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The report also suggested that apps such as Signal, Netflix, and Clubhouse are found to be the least invasive as they do not share the user’s data with any third parties or use it for marketing purposes.

Privacy on the internet? That’s an Oxymoron

Communications travel across the open air. Some are encrypted and some are not. Yes! Online privacy is a myth. The wide array of seemingly “free” services offered via the internet is not always free. None of these online services are truly costless to us, we pay them through our data which acts as a currency every time we utilise the service.

Every time we browse, shop, pay, share, read, like or follow, we submit sufficient information on the internet that is collected and sold into the digital market which then later is used to earn profit from the knowledge of our behaviour and likings. Through various apps that we use regularly our information such as purchase history, contact list, search history, content, data usage, etc are tracked and the data very conveniently is sold to high-profile clients and with a greater effect.

The pCloud report recently revealed that various apps that we use regularly are collecting various information from our device and shares the data with third parties. Here’s a list of various apps that collects our information based on different criteria and then sell the data collected to third-party companies.

pCloud Report

Personal information apps are collecting

Apps today may want to know your name your email address, or even your real-world address. But have you ever wondered: Why? It will not be wrong to say that we are all getting watched under a microscope.

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Remember the case when Facebook sold its users’ data to Cambridge Analytica that targeted millions of users’ data without their consent to gain political benefit. The personal data of around 87 million Facebook users was tracked to aid former US President Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 US elections. The massive data leak was done to manipulate millions of users during the election campaign to vote for Trump by utilising their online behaviour and likings.

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