Popular iPhone apps secretly record users’ screens without permission – report
After a slew of shocking revelations about how they handle people’s private data the public’s trust in large tech companies is surely close to an all-time low. However, a new report from TechCrunch suggests that the mistrust is well founded and perhaps people should be even more cautious about what they download.Also on rt.com AP & Snopes quit ‘fact-checking’ for Facebook as NewsGuard’s blacklist model pushes ahead
The investigation alleges that the apps go much further than the data collection and monetization people have come to expect. In fact, secret software allows them to see exactly how someone uses them and they sometimes inadvertently expose sensitive data.
Air Canada, Expedia, Hotels.com, Singapore Airlines and Abercrombie & Fitch are among the companies mentioned in the probe.
The apps embed “session replay” software from a company called Glassbox, which enables developers to record the screen to see how people use the app. This potentially sinister embed means a users every interaction is essentially recorded via screenshots.
The software is supposed to protect the sensitive data in these screenshots, however, a recent investigation by the AppAnalyst discovered that Air Canada's app wasn't always doing so properly.
TechCrunch found that some of the companies sent the screenshots to Glassbox while others sent it to servers in their own domain.
The software is designed to enable companies to figure out why the app malfunctions but, as TechCrunch notes, the fact that it’s hidden from users suggests the app developers realize exactly how invasive it is.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!