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.)