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A group of researchers from the security firm GuardianApp has found that dozens of popular iPhone applications are selling the location data of the users to the third-party monetization firms.

The report suggests that these apps use packaged code provided by these firms to collect precise location histories from millions of devices. While these apps first ask for your explicit location permission to work properly, they sell data in the background to earn money.

The apps in question include popular ones like ASKfm, Photobucket, Homes.com, Tapatalk, NOAA Weather Radar, etc. The monetization firms buying the data include Cuebiq, Sense360, Teemo, Fysical, etc.

While the app developers claim that such practice is harmless as they don’t get personally identifiable data, security researchers have told TechCrunch that latitude and longitude coordinates can be easily used to locate a person with high accuracy.

This revelation has come into the limelight just before October 3. Before this date, the iOS apps developers need to update their privacy policies with detailed information regarding how they handle user data.

What can I do?

Apart from making sure that you read the privacy and data sharing policies of apps clearly, you can limit Ad Tracking by visiting the following path on your iPhone —

Settings > Privacy > Advertising — Turn on Limit Ad Tracking

The other suggestions offered by the team include pressing “Don’t Allow” location access button when the dialog contains “See privacy policy” or similar text. You are also advised to use generic SSID name of WiFi router and turning off Bluetooth when not in use.

Also Read: Google Chrome’s New Password Manager: All You Need To Know & How To Use It
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Adarsh Verma
Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]