What Apps Track You the Most?

Apps on iPhone

It’s no secret that apps track your activity and have little to no respect for your privacy, but which one is the most mischievous? From browsers and emails to social media apps, Protect My Privacy has looked at how your everyday phone use impacts what data is shared about you.

Social media and you

Research compiled by Surfshark found that social media apps collect more data from you than any other form of media, with Meta applications being the worst. Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram all collected over 30 segments of data from users across a variety of categories. The segments included data from the following categories:

  • Contact Info
  • Health and Fitness
  • Financial Info
  • Location
  • Sensitive Info
  • Contacts
  • UGC (User Generated Content)
  • Browsing History
  • Search History
  • Identifiers
  • Purchases
  • Usage Data
  • Diagnostics
  • Other Data

As you can see, companies like Meta are learning a lot about you through your social media use.

Your emails are not private

Everyone has an email, and in the modern world you can’t go without one. Try ordering an item or applying for a job without one – it’s impossible. You would assume that your emails would be for you and you only, but this is not the case. The three major emailing applications (Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail) all take segments of data from you, with these apps specifically taking between 13-19 data types from the above list.

Email app on smartphone screen with business person reading mess

Shop ’til you… Get tracked

As the pandemic proved, the public love to online shop, with data showing that 75% of shoppers used e-commerce more frequently. Online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are tracking a whopping 20+ data points from you, and then use this data to apply a highly personalised experience. (This is why you think they are always listening – they are)! In addition, financing/pay later businesses such as Klarna, which have soared in popularity, also track over 20 data points from you. Before you finance a new pair of trainers, think to yourself, is it also worth paying with my data?

As well as the apps and companies described above, many data points were also taken by the following categories:

  • Payments and financing apps
  • Streaming services
  • Food delivery
  • Flights
  • GPS apps
  • Dating
  • Period trackers
  • Pregnancy trackers
  • Kid’s apps
  • Crypto apps
  • Weather
  • Image editing

The chances are, if you have opened an app, it will be tracking you. We cannot recommend enough that you check the apps you download beforehand and be aware of what data points it may be checking on you.

Payment Apps on Smartphone

What actions can you take?

As you can see, pretty much everything tracks your data, but what can you do about this? There are many alternative apps you can use that will take less information from your data points. Wired recommended six great alternatives for everyday activities.

In addition, you can download our FREE Blokk app. Blokk filters what your phone is sending back from apps and websites, blocking over 420,000 domains and IP addresses that are known to compromise your privacy or security.

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