Apple is facing a new controversy surrounding user data and I-phone apps, and it’s ironic because when it comes to privacy, Apple has taken a firm stance that goes much further than online giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook has gone so far as to declare privacy is a human right, shortly before rolling out an ad campaign centered on the slogan “what happens on your I-phone, stays on your I-phone.” So it’s come as a big surprise to the Apple faithful that there are dozens of trackers running on your I-phone – and delivering the data they gather throughout the day and night.

A test run with a new app called “Disconnect” found over 5,400 trackers had gathered more than 1.5 gigabytes of data in just a single week. Even more troubling, a lot of the tracking isn’t necessarily made clear in the privacy policy of the apps you’re using. And what happens with all that private information may also not be spelled out in end user agreements. A lot of the time, it was even difficult to track where the data was going, opening up users to the possibility of identity theft or data corruption. 

The good news – most of the data blocked by the “Disconnect” app is simply ad tracking information for apps you get for free, and some of the captured data is about how you interact with apps so that developers can improve them over time – meaning most of the apps sending data aren’t doing it to “spy” on you. Still, Apple may have to do a significant amount of damage control if it turns out their privacy pledge isn’t as transparent as they thought it would be. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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