Despite numerous pop-ups and a detailed Privacy & Security area, new independent research has found that iPhone user data is still shared with Apple.
iOS 14.5 saw the introduction of App Tracking Transparency, a privacy tool that gives users the ability to prevent third-party apps from tracking them with identifying information, all in an effort to better protect their personal information.
However, two app developers from software company Mysk have discovered that, despite a clear push for transparency and privacy, many of Apple’s own apps continue to collect such data.
Collect App Store data
Mysk went to Twitter (opens in new tab) to highlight what it said should be a “privacy issue” by sharing screenshots and videos of the data collected during a 10-minute App Store browsing session on a device running iOS 14.6.
The data collected includes details about the device type, screen resolution, installed keyboards, network connection and other identifiers typically used for digital fingerprinting — exactly what iOS 14.5 wanted to prevent with App Tracking Transparency.
This is despite disabling personalized ads, personalized recommendations, and sharing usage data and analytics, Mysk said.
After more investigation on behalf of Gizmodo (opens in new tab)Mysk discovered that Apple also collected data for other apps, including Stocks, Books, Apple Music, Apple TV, and iTunes Store, but no analytics data was sent for Health and Wallet.
Mysk’s Twitter thread continues: “It’s unclear if Apple is still collecting analytics data in iOS 16” – Apple’s latest major release for its iPhone lineup which debuted with the launch of the iPhone 14 series.
An excerpt from Apple’s advertising and privacy webpage (opens in new tab) reads: “Apple’s advertising platforms receive information about the ads you tap and view based on a random identifier not associated with your Apple ID.”
The company also promises to “use local on-device processing to select which ad to show, using information stored on your device, such as the apps you open often,” raising the question of why the company uses certain types data.
BingoTingo Pro has contacted Apple for further comment.