Lack of Privacy Policies in the App Store and Google Play

Shari Lynn Kramer / 20 Sep 2021

Lack of Privacy Policies in the App Store and Google Play image

Tech giants Apple and Google have done a tremendous job of ridding their stores of 813,000 apps. According to the Pixalate report, deleted apps accounted for 15% of the total number of apps. Pixalate is dedicated to anti-fraud and privacy issues and analytics. Thanks to this company, virtual stores have been able to improve their safety for users.

What is the reason for excluding so many applications? As it turned out, apps violated both companies’ app store policy, privacy, and other critical factors. However, removing apps from stores hasn't completely solved the problem, as apps might remain installed on users' devices.

Hidden Problems Crave Attention

An interesting observation was that over 80 percent of apps excluded from the App Store and Google Play were aimed at children under 12. Also, according to the collected data, a quarter of Play Store apps and 59 percent of App Store ones do not have a privacy policy. Most apps without a privacy policy were found in the China App Store with 60 percent, followed by the Google Play store in Russia with 26 percent.

The report noted that 27 percent on the excluded list had access to users' GPS and 19 percent — to the camera. Both of these also violate the app store policy and serve scammers to obtain personal information.

The Danger of Unreliable Apps

The analysis revealed 66 percent of cases with 'dangerous permissions' in remote Google apps. This type of permission allows scammers to access limited data and enables the app to perform limited actions that could make unwelcome changes to the system or other apps. This is unsafe for your device and could compromise your data.

The purpose of the report is to help developers and advertisers recognize potential privacy threats and regulatory violations. Check your apps if you are not sure about their reliability, and leave your comments about this report below. Share the article with your friends and family if you found it useful!

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