A detailed report from TechCrunch has revealed some shocking findings regarding major travels apps for iPhones. The companies found involved in the misuse of their iOS apps are Hollister, Expedia, Air Canada, and more.
In the name of analytics and user behavior study, these apps tend to record swipes, taps, and other interactions you make with them without your explicit permission. Moreover, some of these apps also sell your data to the advertisers without letting you know.
These companies use services of customer experience analytics firms like Glassbox that allow the apps to use “session replay” technology to record the user interaction.
During the collection of data regarding how you are using the apps, these apps don’t mask certain fields and end up exposing sensitive information. For example, it was found that Air Canada’s app exposed credit card number and passport data in each replay session.
When it comes to App Store and Apple’s policies, the privacy policies of these apps don’t mention recording the user’s screen. As recording screen during app usage doesn’t need any extra permission, there’s no way a user would know about it. It remains to be seen if Apple is going to take some strict action and kick these apps off its App Store.
Update: February 8, 2019
Following the widespread media coverage, Apple has told app developers to disclose the screen recording behavior in a proper manner or completely remove this functionality.
“We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
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