Some App Store app developers have provided Apple with misleading Privacy App Labels
Some developers are posting incorrect information on their App Privacy Labels
This analysis turned up several iOS apps that were sharing information that could identify a user’s iPhone with Facebook, Google, and Game analytics. These apps were also sending Unity, a company that provides game makers with software, information including the ID of the iPhone being used, the battery level of the phone, the remaining amount of free storage available, the general location of the phone, and the volume level. Some of the infringing apps included:
- Satisfying Slime Simulator
- FunDo Pro
In some cases, the label of the app was eventually changed to reflect what the Post discovered, but in most cases there were no changes made. For example, a game played by the family of the Washington Post reporter called “Match 3D” claimed to only collect data not linked to the user. But it turned out that the app was sending an ID number for the reporter’s iPhone to more than a dozen companies. While the Post never got a response from the developer, the Privacy Label was changed to reflect that the app collects “data used to track you.”
The Post’s analysis leads it to conclude that one-third of the apps that claim not to be collecting data from users were actually doing so. And when the newspaper sent Apple a list of apps who seemed to be lying on their Privacy Labels, Apple failed to respond.
Apple also narrows the definition of tracking to “targeted advertising, ad measurement and data brokers.” According to Disconnect CEO Casey Oppenheim, Apple’s definition “leaves the door open to a lot of behaviors that meet any reasonable definition of tracking.”