COMMENTARY | Appolicious reports that a new study by Forbes was released on Feb.15, and it shows authorized Apple apps pose a greater security risk than unauthorized apps. The study revealed that one in every five authorized Apple apps transmitted user data back to the app creator, which means that the creator could track the user, and collect personal information about each user. When the study looked at unauthorized apps, which are typically downloaded by jail breaking the iPod or iPhone, only about 4 percent of apps transmitted user data back to the creator. As an owner of various Apple products, including the iPod Touch fourth generation, here is what this information could mean.
In the study, 4 percent of App Store apps transmitted user location information back to the creator of the app, compared to about 0.2 percent of unauthorized apps. I have a real problem with this because Apple apps are supposed to be secured, which means that user location data should not be stored, and should not be given to the app creator, unless permission is granted by the user. This poses a huge security risk for those that use authorized Apple apps, since permission does not have to be granted, and a user is unsuspectingly giving out location information. This information could be sold to third party companies, which could mean that a user is being tracked by many different people.
Another issue with this survey is that no one knows just how long this personal information is being stored by the app creator. As a frequent user of iTunes, I always thought that Apple apps were secure, and that my personal information was not being used to track what I play, watch, or do on my iPod. If this personal information is stored for a long enough time, then that puts each user at risk for losing personal information through a hack or another security breech. There are a lot of people that hack into personal information every day, so I worry about the possibility of this if the information is stored for any length of time.
There have been many instances where Apple has shown that security is a huge concern with the products put out, although Apple wants you to believe everything is secure, and that no personal information is being tracked. The biggest issue is that a user might save personal information on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod, and this could result in user data being collected and stored just for the benefit of the app creator. If Apple knows there are problems with security through the apps, then Apple should come out and say so, and not wait for an outside source to conduct a survey on the huge security flaws. I worry that Apple is not doing enough to protect my personal information, so maybe using unauthorized apps is the way to go, because those apps appear to be more secure.
Myself, Personal Opinion
Phil Hornshaw, “Study suggests iTunes App Store apps leak private data more than unauthorized ones”, Appolicious