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Michael Tsai – Blog – Popular iPhone Apps Secretly Record Your Screen for Analytics



July Clover:

Multiple popular iPhone apps from major companies are using intrusive analytics services that capture detailed data like taps, swipes, and even screen recordings without customer knowledge reports TechCrunch .

Apps include Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com, Air Canada, Hollister, Expedia, and Singapore Airlines are using Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm that allows developers to use "session replay" screen recording technology within their apps.

[…]

Some apps , such as Air Canada, don't properly mask data that's recorded, exposing information like passport numbers and credit card information. Air Canada employees with access to the screenshot database can easily see this data

Previously: Apple Granted Uber a Background Screen Recording Entitlement

Apple is counting App developers to remove or properly disclose their use of analytics code that allow them to record how a user interacts with their iPhone apps – or removal from the app store, TechCrunch can confirm.

[…]

Already been notified that their apps had fallen off or Apple's rules. One app developer was called by Apple to remove code that recorded app activities, citing the company's app guidelines.

"Your app uses analytics software to collect and send user or device data to a third party without the user's consent. Apps must request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity, "Apple said in the email.

Apple gave the developer less than a day to remove the code and resubmit

Dave Verwer:

I've never talked about this before, but the only relevant sponsor who ever turned down for iOS Dev Weekly was a company focused on in-app screen recording analytics. It was a few years ago now and I had no idea this was even a thing at the time. I just couldn't believe that they were doing it and they were incredulous that I had a problem with it. It made me really angry. Looking at the client list on their site was shocking too. Your screen is almost certainly being recorded by some of the apps on your phone. I did not want to support that, and I didn't take their money.

The irony is that I had a job I had, the company I worked for, one of these screen recording analytics tools and I was asked to look at the results as part of my job. In protest and made a case they should remove it from their app, but I have failed as I know they continue to do it. The irony? To my annoyance, the data collected from that tool was incredibly useful, and I found at least one really hard to reproduce bug because I could watch it happen for a user.

iOS iOS 12 iOS App Privacy

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