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iPhone Apps Have Unique Data Leaked/Shared

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 30 comments

Your UDID is showing.

Last week we learned about a study that found that two-thirds of Android's top applications handled user data in a suspicious manner. Now another study has found that iPhone users are also at risk of being tracked through app use.

Bucknell University Assistant Director of Information Security and Networking Eric Smith conducted a study and published the paper "iPhone Applications & Privacy Issues: An Analysis of Application Transmission of iPhone Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs)." In it, his team looked at 57 of the top free applications from the iTunes App Store and found that 68 percent of apps transmitted the UDID.

The UDID of the iOS device itself isn't sensitive, but sometimes that UDID would be paired up with your real user information that the app has been granted access to.

"For example, Amazon’s application communicates the logged-in user’s real name in plain text, along with the UDID, permitting both Amazon.com and network eavesdroppers to easily match a phone’s UDID with the name of the phone’s owner. The CBS News application transmits both the UDID and the iPhone device’s user-assigned name, which frequently contains the owner’s real name."

One of the chief concerns is that what these corporations could potentially do with this linked data, such as selling it to those using it for more nefarious, annoying and invasive marketing tactics.

(Source: Ars Technica.)

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    g00fysmiley , October 5, 2010 2:21 PM
    but apples are impervious to malware and security breeches.. steve jobs said so ... so it must be true
  • 25 Hide
    TheRockMonsi , October 5, 2010 2:12 PM
    I guess the iphone fans can shut up now...
  • 17 Hide
    hok , October 5, 2010 2:26 PM
    why am i not surprised...
Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    TheRockMonsi , October 5, 2010 2:12 PM
    I guess the iphone fans can shut up now...
  • 11 Hide
    wolfseeker2828 , October 5, 2010 2:14 PM
    Wow, so much for all the Apple fanboys telling us that Android sucks because it leaks data, and iPhone is great because Apple doesn't do that...
  • 12 Hide
    Tamz_msc , October 5, 2010 2:20 PM
    Majority of the apps on the App Store are useless and they share private information!What a failure.
  • 27 Hide
    g00fysmiley , October 5, 2010 2:21 PM
    but apples are impervious to malware and security breeches.. steve jobs said so ... so it must be true
  • -5 Hide
    toallthehaters , October 5, 2010 2:24 PM
    I just reread that post on Android data leaks and there was one or two idiot Apple fanboys. The rest was anti google. Soooo before you start flaming phantom Apple fanbois ... give it a rest.
  • 17 Hide
    hok , October 5, 2010 2:26 PM
    why am i not surprised...
  • 4 Hide
    nexus9113 , October 5, 2010 2:40 PM
    The bigger the market share, the greater the likelihood of malware/adware/viruses being made for an OS. So the more iPhones you buy = the more hackers/programmers you entice to mess things up.
  • -7 Hide
    andyzaharia , October 5, 2010 2:41 PM
    Ok, I'm not going to say anything about android and all that stuff, but UDID stuff is a VERY stupid argument, maybe it has a point somewhere, but its by far not as serious as android "article" :D 

  • -5 Hide
    deweycd , October 5, 2010 3:02 PM
    Oh no, now people are going to be sending me Ads to things that I may actually want to read about instead of random junk about things I don't care about. I may just have to buy someting..... back to reality, there is this kind of information floating around anytime you sign up for something. You never really know who knows what about it. Its like there should be one big bank in charge of holding and sharing your private data so that you atleast know who has the proper info and who they have shared it with. But then again that won't work because they will just loose it through something like this.
  • 7 Hide
    tommysch , October 5, 2010 3:10 PM
    If this surprises you, you should stay away from the interwebz.
  • 2 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , October 5, 2010 3:17 PM
    SHOCKING!
  • 4 Hide
    jellico , October 5, 2010 3:37 PM
    Quote:
    In it, his team looked at 57 of the top free applications from the iTunes App Store and found that 68 percent of apps transmitted the UDID.

    For you iPhone fanboys, 68% is greater than two-thirds; which means iPhone are MORE insecure than Android phones. So... you guys can get off your high horse now.
  • -7 Hide
    toallthehaters , October 5, 2010 3:53 PM
    jellicoFor you iPhone fanboys, 68% is greater than two-thirds; which means iPhone are MORE insecure than Android phones. So... you guys can get off your high horse now.


    who are you talking to? Please be specific. scream at a wall much?
  • 2 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 5, 2010 3:54 PM
    Before we all go ape-crazy about this, have all the mobile OS's been vetted for similar problems?
    For example if Symbian or Blackberry or Windows Phone apps all do the same thing then we can just chalk it down to a problem inherant with smartphones.
    However.
    If it turns out that one or more of the others are "clean" then buyer beware, vote with your feet and purchase a smartphone that doesn't spy on you.
  • -1 Hide
    gtvr , October 5, 2010 4:56 PM
    Do we think that CBS or Amazon are selling this data to people with "nefarious" purposes, or is that speculation? I imagine the publicity hit and FTC fines would be a good disincentive to misuse of this data.
  • 1 Hide
    orionantares , October 5, 2010 5:01 PM
    TommySchIf this surprises you, you should stay away from the interwebz.


    Or at least not download free apps that just imitate the existing mobile web page.
  • -1 Hide
    zachary k , October 5, 2010 5:10 PM
    so what, do people just read the title and go "suck it iphone!"? sure its happening more than android, but its still not as bad as android.

    android app store is open and dirty, like some kind of black market, you have to hunt and gamble for the good ones. apple app store is closed and limiting, is there no middle ground? just accept all apps as long, for example, as they don't send your GPS data directly to a mysterious server?
  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 5, 2010 5:20 PM
    zachary kso what, do people just read the title and go "suck it iphone!"? sure its happening more than android, but its still not as bad as android.android app store is open and dirty, like some kind of black market, you have to hunt and gamble for the good ones. apple app store is closed and limiting, is there no middle ground? just accept all apps as long, for example, as they don't send your GPS data directly to a mysterious server?

    There is a middle ground
    Go to www.download.com
  • -1 Hide
    tommysch , October 5, 2010 5:28 PM
    zachary kso what, do people just read the title and go "suck it iphone!"? sure its happening more than android, but its still not as bad as android.android app store is open and dirty, like some kind of black market, you have to hunt and gamble for the good ones. apple app store is closed and limiting, is there no middle ground? just accept all apps as long, for example, as they don't send your GPS data directly to a mysterious server?


    I like the black market, basically the whole internet is a free app black market for 1337 people. The threats are the same. So if your are too dumb to know whats what, buy an apple product!
  • 2 Hide
    MxM , October 5, 2010 5:48 PM
    Unique information != private information. You expect many apps to uniquely identify you. More over the examples of sending private information is completely expected. It is different from what was described in android article that some information that you consider private is downloaded by apps.
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