Most of us, without looking at the nitty-gritty, hit “accept” by default when using the app for the first time. But what exactly do we accept? Clario, a UAE-based internet security company, has collected 2021 data from some of the world’s most used apps to decide what data they can collect and store by simply pressing that button. The information consists of basic data such as name, date of birth and email address. But it quickly becomes personal, like what pets or hobbies we have, how tall or heavy we are, and what our sexual orientation is. Many apps also store banking information and connect to our social media accounts. Social media apps, which are increasingly under fire for their approach to privacy, collect data from a variety of sources.
Social networking apps (Facebook, Instagram), dating (Tinder, Grindr), and transportation (Uber) collect the most data. For example, Facebook can retrieve 29 of the 37 variables of personal data studied in the study.
In 2021, a former employee of Facebook (now called Meta) leaked documents about privacy violations and the abuse of fake news by the company. The Facebook app has direct access to most of the data; All other Meta apps can retrieve data from the Facebook app if the accounts are linked.
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