New Forbes Advisor research (via Incogni) suggests that some apps designed to help consumers manage their budgets and finances are actually collecting and sharing highly sensitive data.
More alarmingly, some of the most popular apps are responsible for collecting the most amount of data, which can end up in the hands of third parties.
These apps could be collecting other personal information too, with many requesting system permissions to get access to things like contacts and wireless connections.
Budgeting apps could be selling your data
The research measured 38 data points outlined by the Google Play Store policies, and found that the investigated apps collect over nine data points each. Only four of the 20 apps analyzed collected fewer than five data points, with the worst measuring 22 points.
Those responsible for collecting the widest array of data include Mobills, Wallet, and NerdWallet.
The most popular types of data collected include personal information like names and email addresses, financial information such as credit scores and payment history, and app activity. App information and performance was also noted to be a key metric. More than half (12) of the 20 apps were found to be sharing such data with third parties.
The report also highlighted the bizarre permission requests made by some apps for access to things like calendars, contacts, and Bluetooth, which shouldn’t technically be a necessity for these types of apps.
Understanding precisely how our data is used can be incredibly challenging, and while Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store go some of the way to helping consumers by flagging the sorts of information collected, we can’t be sure what happens to this information.
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