Which Apps Share Your Data The Most?

Bill Mount

Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Instagram shares more personal data than any other App Store app, a new study has revealed. Secure cloud storage firm pCloud looked at the new Apple privacy labels featured in the App Store, analyzing ‘Date used […]

Instagram shares more personal data than any other App Store app, a new study has revealed.

Secure cloud storage firm pCloud looked at the new Apple privacy labels featured in the App Store, analyzing ‘Date used to Track You’, ‘Third Party Advertising’, and ‘Developer’s Advertising or Marketing’.

And, it found, Instagram shares 79 per cent of the data it collects with third parties. This includes purchases, location, contact information, contacts, user content, search and browsing history, identifiers, usage data, diagnostics and financial information.

Coming in second is Facebook, which gives 57 per cent of users’ data away, followed by LinkedIn and Uber Eats, both of which share half their users’ data with third parties.

Indeed, food delivery apps are surprisingly profligate with data: only Just Eat, Grubhub and My McDonald’s give nothing away at all.

“Although sometimes it is necessary for apps to pass on certain information to third parties in order to help them provide a service, a frightening amount of apps are actually doing it for their own gain, not their users,” says Ivan Dimitrov, digital marketing manager at pCloud.

“Profiting from the sharing of private personal information is becoming more proliferate in modern-day online practice.”

Apps also, of course, use the data they collect to sell more of their own products. Here, too, Instagram is the worst offender, along with its parent company Facebook. Both use 86 per cent of the data they collect to sell more of their own products.

Klarna and Grubhub are the next worst offenders at 64 per cent, while Uber and its food app, Uber Eats, both use 57 per cent.

Skype, Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom collect no data at all for advertising or third parties, alongside Telegram, Clubhouse, Netflix, and Signal. Meanwhile, social media stars Bigo Live and Likke are amongst the top 20 safest apps to use, collecting just two per cent of users’ personal data.

And Amazon came surprisingly low in the list, with minimal tracking for its own advertising, and no data passed on to third parties.

“Social giants like Instagram and Facebook look to aim to collect as much information on users as possible, instead of prioritising guarding their user’s privacy,” says Dimitrov. “Moving forward, anyone using apps should make themselves aware of just what information they are handing over.”

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