Home » Worried About Privacy? Delete These Invasive Apps

Worried About Privacy? Delete These Invasive Apps

by Kurt Knutsson

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, reveals in a podcast interview that some apps previously available in the App Store were found to be problematic.

Apple’s normally thorough review process did not catch some apps behaving badly. Namely, a number of gaming apps meant for kids 4 and older instead take users to a casino when opened.

 

Apps that Trick Children

  • Lucky Stars app originally introduced as a kids game, it can instead launch users into a casino when opened. It’s gone from the App Store, but may have been downloaded before it was banned.
  • Vegas Pirates app similar to Lucky Stars, this Vegas Pirates app marketed to children can instead open a casino function connected to a pay platform not connected with Apple. It has since been removed from the App Store.

 

Privacy Invasive Apps

Surprisingly, when you look at what expectation someone has of an app versus what the app actually does in the background with the information it takes from you can jeopardize your personal privacy. This includes some big-name popular apps that you should know are not getting such good grades.

Here’s why.  Many apps on the surface appear to need information from you such as your location and other personal details in order to provide the function we expect, but that same personal data is being used and shared well beyond what they need.  At least half of all apps are also sharing personal data of yours with 3rd parties willing to pay to know more intimate details about you.

Apple’s New Privacy Labels are revealing the worst big-name offenders.  Google Play store which has no such privacy transparency warnings, has some big offenders coming to light:

    • Words with Friends app – this popular Scrabble-themed game was given a poor privacy “D” grade by Carnegie Mellon University for its Android version. From the same developer as the infamous Draw Something app for Android phones that uses “Read phone status and identity” permission to reveal your phone number, call log, signal data and carrier information to 3rd party advertisers, Words with Friends was found to use “precise location” permission which ends up targeting you for location-based ads whether you want them or not.
    • Uber Eats app has been a convenient way to get food delivered.  The app requires your location so it can offer you local restaurants to display nearby in the app. But your location is also being gathered and tracked well beyond getting food to your door.  57% of your personal data on Uber Eats is being used to serve you ads from others at times it knows you will be easiest to engage.
    • Facebook and Instagram apps track your activity even when not using the app
      The big hissyfit from CEO Mark Zuckerberg toward Apple is rooted in Apple offering app privacy controls to anyone with an iPhone and iPad. Zuckerberg’s opposition made headlines because of the Apple move to force more transparency in apps strikes at the real business of Facebook, harvesting your personal data to make money without much regard for your privacy and well-being.

Facebook and Instagram are super popular for keeping in touch with family and friends and sharing moments, but their darker side is troubling when you see that 86% of your data is being used for reasons other than what you think.

Facebook uses its app to track your off-app activity in order to manipulate content to engage you further and push ads that keep you engaged longer. 57% of your personal information is shared with 3rd parties.

The bigger offender of this big tech duo is how Instagram shares a whopping 79% of your personal information with other companies.  They share what you bought, website you browse and access to who you hang out with.

Facebook may call it a technology of convenience, but its invasive nature is why some people are deleting Facebook and/or Instagram altogether.

 

 

How to Delete Apps on an iPhone

  1. Press and hold the app you wish to delete until a menu appears
  2. Tap Remove App
  3. then Delete App and Delete to confirm

You also can touch and hold an app until it starts to jiggle.  >   Press the little minus sign in its upper-left corner  >   then tap Delete App  >  and Delete to confirm.

If you’re subscribed to these apps, be sure to cancel your subscription.

Remember that if an app comes with a subscription or in-app subscriptions, deleting it won’t stop the subscription.  Some of Apple’s built-in apps like Settings cannot be deleted.

More ways to take back your privacy:



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