Today, passing a single day without smartphones is a big deal.
We can do everything through smartphones, connecting with friends, doing business, or keeping ourselves entertained. All these are possible through various apps installed on your phone.
However, did you ever wonder how much these apps know about you? We all know that apps constantly spy on us or collect data.
But what sort of data do they collect, and how much of it?
Well, to find this out, The Money Mongers team conducted a study, and here is how it pans out:
76% of the apps collect and share their user data in some or the other form.
Key Findings & Stats
- Threads (Meta’s newest app) is the most invasive app, collecting 86% of its user’s personal data.
- Threads collect 72% more personal data than X (formerly Twitter).
- 51% of the apps share their user data with third parties. At the same time, 72% of the apps collect data for their own benefit.
- The top 5 most invasive apps gather around 82% of user data.
- Amongst the top 100 social networking apps, 62% collect and share their users data.
- 84% of the Shopping category apps collect and share the personal data of their users.
The Most Invasive Apps
We looked at the top 100 apps to determine how much data they collect.
We have examined the two categories: third-party advertising and developer’s advertising or marketing.
Then, we scored the apps based on how much data they collected under each category, and here is what the data looks like:
Meta is arguably the most data-hungry company, with most of its apps collecting an astounding 86% of the user’s personal data.
Apps Sharing the Most Data with Third-Party
- Social media apps top the charts, collecting data for third-party ads at an average of 37.73%.
- 7 out of 10 social media apps top the list of apps collecting the most user data, with a collective privacy score of 71%.
- 66% of the apps collect Location data to be shared with third parties. And 64% of the apps collect Contact Info to be shared with third parties.
- Diagnostic, Sensitive info, Financial info, Health, and fitness are the least collected data points by the top 100 apps.
- Beyond social media, within the top 10 apps, Lyft, Uber Eats, and Google lead with a 48% data collection score.
As mentioned earlier, on iPhone, App developers usually collect data under two categories.
One such category is third-party advertising.
This data set is collected to display third-party ads inside the app or share your data with entities who display third-party ads.
51% of the apps share their user data with third parties.
Apps Collecting the most Data for their own benefit
- Contact info is the prime data target, with 92% of top apps collecting it.
- Meta apps collect the most data for their own advertising and marketing benefits.
- Alarmingly, 36% of leading apps are privy to your browsing history across various apps and websites.
- The top 10 apps harvest 71% of your personal data.
The second category is the developer’s advertising or marketing.
Under this, your data is collected to display first-party ads inside the app, send you marketing communications, and share data with entities who will show your ads.
In other words, as the category name suggests, the developers collect the data to send you promotional messages or improve their app.
72% of the apps collect data for their own benefit.
The study was constructed based on the top 100 most downloaded apps on the Apple App Store.
We looked at two main categories: Third-Party Advertising and developer’s Advertising or Marketing that apps use to collect user data.
Under these categories are 14 different data points such as purchases, locations, contact info, user content, health & fitness, financial info, etc.
We scored the apps based on how many data points they were taking under each category and later averaged the score of two data categories to create a single score.
The data was last recorded on 12 October 2023.
If you use our report, don’t forget to link to The Money Mongers as the source.
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