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Since the start of CES earlier this year, Apple has been running a campaign to promote privacy and is thrashing Android at the same time. In case you didn’t know, Apple hung a huge banner at CES 2019 with the quote, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone”. Following that, Apple launched several campaigns surrounding the quote. The campaigns included TV ads, social media advertisements, and Newspaper ads.
However, it looks like this was all for nothing as Apple is allowing third-party apps to siphon data and send it to marketing and advertisers. According to a research done by The Washington Post (via Fossbytes) in collaboration with Disconnect, apps like Microsoft OneDrive, Spotify, Nike and The Weather Channel exploit iPhone’s ‘Background App Refresh’ feature to send users’ personal data (phone numbers, emails, and IP addresses) to marketing companies and research firms. TWP’s research revealed that 5,400 app trackers gulped data in a single week while Disconnect drew a conclusion that trackers consume almost 1.5 GB of data every month. The Washington Post even confirmed that their own app is sending data to tracking companies.
The Washington Post suggested that Apple should be more transparent on its policies and should add more control to ensure the user’s data is safe. Moreover, Apple could also add a pop-up for when trackers are enabled so users know they are being tracked and the data is being shared with the third-parties.