Technology is amazing and it has improved several aspects of our life. However, it has its downsides as well. For example, our privacy is becoming increasingly harder to protect. It has become difficult to identify the devices, websites or apps that can be trusted.
Recently, a report published by Tech Crunch revealed something quite concerning. It appears that several major iPhone apps are recording the screen of their users without asking for permission or announcing it.
Your data is at risk
“Several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks, and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps. Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data,” reported Tech Crunch.
The site also explained that some of these apps also monetize the data they collect from you. Some of the apps that do this are Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines. They all use Glassbox. For those who do not know, Glassbox is an analytics firm for customer experience. They use the “session replay” technology, which means that the screen is recorded while people use that particular app.
Glassbox even prides itself on this technology. A recent tweet read the following: “Imagine if your website or mobile app could see exactly what your customers do in real time, and why they did it?”.
Nonetheless, this method is even more dangerous that it seems. For example, there has been a case of incorrect session replay for Air Canada. The app managed to record the credit card data and the passport numbers of its users as well, exposing numerous users.
The policies of these companies don’t mention screen recording, which is just another reason to worry. The fact that users aren’t informed about this technique is concerning as well.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.