In the previous post, we discussed how Disney apps leak children (user) information without the consent of parents. But the fact is that, it is not just Disney apps, but most of the popular free apps( both on Apple store and Google Play Store) sell sensitive user information to the advertisers unlawfully. In a recent research, researchers have found that almost 47% of the apple apps, and 73% of the android apps, sell some kind of user information to advertisers. Medical apps are more notorious in this department, because medical app users share more sensitive data than others.
What kind of data app creators sell to advertisers?
Basically there are two kind of data, that app creators share with advertisers.
- Personally identifiable data
- Behavioral data
Personally identifiable data can be in the form of user’s name, email or location. These information can be sensitive because hackers can get other information once they target one available data, especially the email of the user.
Behavioral data is the kind of data that is generated when a user use his/ her device. It can be browsing data, search keyword data, or other personal information like what kind of pages you like on social networking sites etc.
Why advertisers buy user data?
Advertisers prefer to publish their ads to target audiences. And to find target audience they need to study user’s activities. And for that user data is necessary.