App Privacy Study Looks at Most 'Invasive' Apps Collecting User Data

With App Privacy labels now available for many of the top apps in the App Store, pCloud earlier this month took a look at the most "invasive" apps that collect the most data from users.

appstoreprivacy feature
It will come as no surprise to many that Instagram and Facebook share the most data with third-party advertisers, collecting info on purchases, location, contact details, user content, search history, browsing history, and more.

Instagram collects 79 percent of personal data, while Facebook collects 57 percent. LinkedIn and Uber Eats were also serious offenders, collecting 50 percent of data. This study was done prior to when Google shared App Privacy labels for its Google Search and Chrome apps, but YouTube and YouTube Music were found to be collecting 43 percent of personal data to share with third parties.

pcloud instrusive apps the apps sharing your data with third parties
eBay, TikTok, Duolingo, Deliveroo, and Trainline were all in the top 10 apps for data collection, with Reddit, Snapchat, Spotify, Pandora, ESPN, and CNN making the top 20.

Every time you search for a video on YouTube, 42% of your personal data is sent elsewhere. This data goes on to inform the types of adverts you'll see before and during videos, as well as being sold to brands who'll target you on other social media platforms. Instagram shares 79% of your data including browsing history and personal information with others online.

YouTube isn't the worst when it comes to selling your information on. That award goes to Instagram, which shares a staggering 79% of your data with other companies. Including everything from purchasing information, personal data, and browsing history. No wonder there's so much promoted content on your feed.

With over 1 billion monthly active users it's worrying that Instagram is a hub for sharing such a high amount of its unknowing users' data.

Apps that collect data for third-party use do so for targeting purposes, sharing the info across different apps and websites. Apps also collect data to market their own products, with Facebook and Instagram again collecting the most data in this category.

On the other end of the spectrum, apps that don't collect much data include Signal, Clubhouse, Netflix, Shazam, Etsy, Skype, and Telegram.

Starting with the launch of iOS 14.5, Apple will begin requiring apps that access a user's advertising identifier for cross-app and website tracking to get express permission before using it, which may help cut down on some of the third-party data sharing.

Prior to downloading an app, it's always worth checking out the App Privacy label to see just what data is being collected, primarily in "Data Used to Track You" and "Data Linked to You" sections, which include data collected for third-party advertising and for the developer's own advertising or marketing.

Top Rated Comments

vikingjunior Avatar
27 weeks ago
But Facebook told me it's about small businesses.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kalafalas Avatar
27 weeks ago
Deleting Facebook was easy, but Instagram…. That’s gonna be hard.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DoctorTech Avatar
27 weeks ago
Does "browsing history" mean browsing within that app or browsing history of your chosen Internet browser?
Same question for "search history" is that only search history within that app?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
27 weeks ago

What does that have to do with anything? Instagram could still collect all of that data from adults, but zero from children. Nothing ironic about that.
No, it’s ironic. It’s like rain on your wedding day, or the good advice you just didn’t take. :-)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bustycat Avatar
27 weeks ago
Ironically,

https://www.macrumors.com/2021/03/16/instagram-protecting-young-people-tools/
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving Avatar
27 weeks ago
Whos' ready to delete Instagram LOL

79% of data! ouch...

People start making fake profile.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
Facebook Hacked Feature

Mark Zuckerberg's Details Leaked in Facebook Data Breach

Wednesday April 7, 2021 7:08 am PDT by
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's own personal information was among the details of 533 million Facebook users that leaked in a data breach, it has emerged. Facebook has now confirmed that the leaked data was obtained not by a hack, but by scraping the platform prior to September 2019. The company now says that an exploit was found in its contact importer, but the "specific issue that allowed...
tim cook mark zuckerberg

Tim Cook Urged Mark Zuckerberg to Delete User Data From 3rd Party Apps in Private 2019 Meeting

Monday April 26, 2021 4:33 am PDT by
At a private meeting on the sidelines of an informal gathering of tech and social media executives in July of 2019 in Sun Valley, Idaho, Apple CEO Tim Cook urged Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg to delete all user information his company has collected from third-party apps, according to The New York Times. According to the Times, the executives met annually at the conference...
play store google

Google to Limit Which Apps Can See Other Installed Apps on Android Devices, Evoking Similar Privacy Changes Apple Made in iOS 9

Saturday April 3, 2021 3:23 am PDT by
Google will soon make it harder for third-party apps to see what other apps are installed on a user's Android device, a policy change that evokes similar privacy protections Apple introduced in iOS 9, way back in 2015. According to XDA-Developers, upcoming amendments to Google's Developer Program Policy will limit which apps can access an Android user's full list of installed apps. As noted...
appstoreprivacy

iOS 14.3 Introduces App Privacy Labels in App Store

Monday December 14, 2020 10:26 am PST by
The iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3, and macOS Big Sur 11.1 updates that are live as of today introduce a new App Privacy labeling feature for the App Store and macOS App Store, giving customers a way to determine what data an app collects about them before choosing to install it. Apple first introduced these labels at WWDC, and has given developers until now to prepare for them. Developers need to...
generic tracking prompt blue

Apps Continuing to Track Users Despite Apple's Privacy Prompt

Monday June 7, 2021 8:04 am PDT by
Apple is facing increasing pressure to tighten its App Tracking Transparency rules after it was found that third parties are using workarounds to identify users who do not consent to be tracked, according to the Financial Times. Apple rules around App Tracking Transparency, which came into effect as part of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, require apps to ask for consent to track users across...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
iPhone 12 v Android 2020

Research Claiming Android Collects 20x More User Data Than iOS 'Off By An Order of Magnitude,' Says Google

Wednesday March 31, 2021 1:08 am PDT by
Google and Apple both collect data from their users on their respective mobile operating systems, even when users are simply browsing the settings page or inserting a SIM card. Android, however, collects 20x more data from users compared to iOS, according to newly published research. A study from Douglas Leith at Trinity College, reported by Ars Technica, says that while both OSes collect data ...
Google Apps Privacy Feature 1

All of Google's Main Apps Now Feature Privacy Labels

Tuesday April 6, 2021 10:45 am PDT by
Four months after Apple first began requiring apps to add App Privacy labels to their App Store listings, Google has finally updated all of its most popular apps with the information, letting people know exactly what data Google is collecting. Google began adding App Privacy labels to its apps in February after months of delaying. Gmail, for example, got App Privacy labels on February 22,...
maxresdefault

Apple Shares Video Explaining How App Tracking Transparency Works

Monday April 26, 2021 11:22 am PDT by
Now that iOS 14.5 is available to the public, App Tracking Transparency is being enforced by Apple. Developers are no longer able to access the advertising identifier of your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV without your express permission, which will prevent developers from tracking you across apps and websites for ad targeting preferences. If that sounds confusing, Apple has created an App...