Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Apple threatens to BAN iOS apps that secretly record users' iPhone screens

Some iPhone apps are recording what you do according to a report.                  Angela Lang  CNET Some iPhone apps are recording what you do according to a report. Angela Lang CNET
Kayla Schwartz | 09 February, 2019, 06:58

These apps have been found to literally record your iPhone screen, without asking for your permission or notifying you about it. "Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity". The company spokesperson added, however, that the airline "does not - and can not - capture phone screens outside of the Air Canada app".

Select iPhone apps have been using an analytics firm known as Glassbox to allow developers to use a tool called "session replay" that screen records a user's activity within the app.

Using Glassbox's session reply technology, app makers can see every tap and swipe you make.

In both cases, experts are calling on tech companies to be more transparent about the data they're collecting and how they're using it. Even though Glassbox allows developers to have sensitive fields blacked out so that the screenshots they take don't reveal any personal information, it turns out that some of the screenshots captured by the Air Canada app do show some of this personal data.

The recordings are made to see user behavior within a certain app. Air Canada's iPhone app was not properly masking the session replays, however, exposing passport numbers and credit card data, according to The App Analyst.

Masking sensitive data sometimes failed in Air Canada session replays. This includes user information entered in, and collected on, the Air Canada mobile app. After testing some of the above apps mentioned, the report hints that every app wasn't leaking this masked data, which is a relief for now.

MLB Rumors: League Changing Name Of ‘Disabled List’ Before 2019 Season
Rosters held only 21 players, which, when injuries mounted, forced some players back into action before they were fully healthy. During recent negotiations with the union, Major League Baseball asked to reestablish the 15-day version of the list.

Seeing this disturbing trend practised widely across the board, The App Analyst said: "I think users should take an active role in how they share their data, and the first step to this is having companies be forthright in sharing how they collect their users' data and who they share it with".

The screen recording code is also available to Android app developers, TechCrunch said.

While apps that are submitted to Apple's App Store are required to have a privacy policy, Glassbox themselves doesn't require any special permission from App or the User to record their screens. There's literally no way a user can know their screen was being recorded all this time.

One company that provides the analytics code, called Glassbox, claims it provides the code to customers so they can reduce app error rates, TechCrunch noted.

Another company who used Session Replay is Air Canada. It gives the companies to look at how the user is interacting with the app to improve the app.

However, Abercrombie said that using Glassbox "helps support a seamless shopping experience, enabling us to identify and address any issues customers might encounter in their digital experience", according to 9to5Mac. The companies, including Glassbox, vow that their recordings are encrypted and mask sensitive data automatically, including keyboard presses.

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