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Study Reveals Which Applications Share Personal Information

-Editorial

A new study has revealed which popular apps collect and share the most personal data with third parties.

Spotify, the music streaming giant, has been revealed as one of the apps sharing most of your data with third parties. The study, by database experts SQL Server Consulting, analyzed the most downloaded apps on the Google Play Store to see which apps are giving away the most personal information.

In first place is Picsart AI Photo Editor, which shares eight different sets of personal information with third parties. Picsart AI Photo Editor, with over a billion downloads, was found to share locations, personal information (names and email addresses), photos and videos, audio, files and documents, app activity, and app information with third parties.

Second place goes to 8 Ball Pool, which was found to share seven different sets of information with third parties. 8 Ball Pool, with more than one billion downloads, was shown to share locations, user IDs, financial information, messages, app activity, app information, and device IDs with third parties.

Third place is a tie between Amazon Shopping and Subway Surfers, each sharing six different sets of information with third parties. Amazon Shopping, with more than 500 million downloads, was found to share personal information (names, email addresses, addresses, and phone numbers), financial information, health information, photos and videos, app activity, and device IDs.

Subway Surfers, with over a billion downloads, was found to share Locations, User IDs, financial information, app activity, app information, and device IDs with third parties.

Fourth place is another tie, this time between two gaming applications, Roblox and Fruit Ninja. Both games have been downloaded to devices more than 500 million times and share 5 different sets of personal information with third parties. Fruit Ninja was found to share locations, User IDs, financial information, app information, and device IDs with third parties.

Roblox was found to share locations, user IDs, financial information, audio, and device IDs – which is concerning considering that Roblox is aimed at children.

Fifth place see four apps each sharing four sets of personal information with third parties; Temple Run, Temple Run 2, TikTok, and Viber Messenger.

Temple Run 1 and 2, with more than a billion downloads between them, were both found to share financial information, app activity, app information, and device IDs.

Viber Messenger, with over a billion downloads, was found to share locations, personal information (names, email addresses, and other information), financial information, and device IDs. TikTok, with over one billion downloads, was found to share names, photos and videos, audio, and app activity.

The Sixth spot sees Candy Crush and Spotify, each sharing three sets of personal information with third parties. Candy Crush was found to share locations, email addresses, and device IDs. Spotify was found to share locations, personal information, and Device IDs.

Interestingly, these apps were the culprits for sharing the most personal data, whereas LinkedIn, as well as Meta’s Facebook, Facebook Lite, Instagram, Threads, and Messenger, were found to be the most invasive, each requiring 13 permissions to use with full functionality when downloaded.

A spokesperson for SQL Server Consulting commented on the findings, saying:

“The findings underscore the prevalence of data sharing across different types of applications, raising awareness about privacy concerns among users. The fact that these applications have collectively been downloaded billions of times and are used daily does raise questions as to whether people know just how much of their own, personal data has been unknowingly shared with third parties”

“These results emphasize the importance of user vigilance and informed decision-making regarding app usage, as well as the need for continued scrutiny and regulation within the digital landscape.”

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