Privacy issues that come with social media apps are becoming more and more apparent as time goes on, especially after the whole Facebook data privacy debacle. According to Apple’s new iOS 14 privacy ‘nutrition labels’, Instagram has been named the most invasive app when it comes to the consumer’s personal data.
A cloud storage company, pCloud came to this conclusion after analyzing the recently introduced App Privacy labels. These labels are now required to be included by companies in Apple’s App Store.
In a report compiled by pCloud, they noted that Instagram was found to share 79% of personal data which includes location, contacts, financial info, and search history collected in the app with other third parties. This is the most out of any popular social media app to date.
Facebook was in second place with 57% of the personal data that was being collected was shared with other third parties. Followed by LinkedIn and Uber Eats, both at 50%. Other Apps featured in the top 10 were Trainline, Youtube, Duolingo, and eBay. Surprisingly food delivery apps like Just Eat, Grubhub, and My McDonald’s were among the few apps that gave away no user data at all. Other apps that protected users’ data included Signal, BBC, iPlayer, Netflix, and the recently popular messaging app, Telegram. Apple’s new privacy labels are essentially forcing tech companies to publicize how much and what kind of data they are gathering from consumers.
Ivan Dimitrov, a digital manager at pCloud, wrote in a blog post while detailing the research that “Any information you agree to be gathered by an app when signing up can be analyzed for their benefit and even shared. Everything from your browsing history, to your location, your banking details, your contact details, and your fitness levels can be valuable for apps to store, use, or sell on,”. He went on to say that “With over 1 billion monthly active users it’s worrying that Instagram is a hub for sharing such a high amount of its unknowing users’ data”.
When these new privacy labels were announced last year, privacy advocates around the world said that this new transparency standard was important for online privacy going further into the future. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that helped push for these changes said that “The changes mean people can more easily consider privacy issues when choosing whether or not to buy or download an app”.