Report: Many iPhone apps are recording your screen activity without permission
Many apps ask for a user’s permission before gathering and transferring the data for the company’s purposes. However, some iPhone apps have been revealed to collect a user’s information without asking for their permission.
According to TechCrunch, apps from Expedia, Air Canada and others silently record a user’s screen without their knowledge or permission. Many of these popular iPhone apps are from banks, airlines, and cell phone companies.
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Most of these companies work with Glassbox, an experience analytics firm. It gives companies, such as Hotels.com, the opportunity to embed “session replay” into their apps, which allows developers to record everything a user does on their screen to analyze how consumers interact with the product.
In a tweet, Glassbox explained its mission: “Imagine if your website or mobile app could see exactly what your customers do in real time, and why they did it?”
A Glassbox representative told TechCrunch, “Glassbox has a unique capability to reconstruct the mobile application view in a visual format, which is another view of analytics, Glassbox SDK can interact with our customers native app only and technically cannot break the boundary of the app.”
Mobile expert and blogger the App Analyst told TechCrunch that session replay technology also risks exposing sensitive information of user’s profiles. For example, Air Canada does not properly mask users’ passwords when the recordings are transmitted.
“This gives Air Canada employees — and anyone else capable of accessing the screenshot database — to see unencrypted credit card and password information,” the App Analyst said.
In response to TechCrunch’s story, Air Canada released a statement through a spokesperson: “Air Canada uses customer provided information to ensure we can support their travel needs and to ensure we can resolve any issues that may affect their trips.”