What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone, or so Apple says. But when one reporter from the Washington Post looked into that claim, what he discovered was quite the opposite.
According to a new report from the Post, even when your phone isn’t in use, your device is busy sharing your data with a complex web of partners. That’s because many popular apps, including Yelp, Spotify and Door Dash, use third-party data tracking apps to collect information from users.
While some data sharing is designed to improve the customer experience, many of the third-party apps accessing user data are less well-known, with the majority of users not even aware their data is being accessed in the background.
Apple has positioned itself as a defender of user privacy as other major tech rivals, among them Facebook and Google, have struggled with intense scrutiny over how they handle user data.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has called privacy “a fundamental human right” and contrasted Apple’s business model with some of their tech rivals. The company has even gone so far as to block Facebook’s developer access app for uses that are considered a violation of Apple’s privacy policies.
The writer of the Washington Post article had his iPhone tested by a company that identifies and blocks trackers, which found that his phone was sending information to as many as 5,400 trackers in a given week.
There is no such thing as data privacy
The best way to protect your data is to stay vigilant about what sensitive information you share online (even basic information such as your phone number, email and date of birth) and to understand how devices, apps and websites use your data.
If you’re concerned about any of your data getting in the wrong hands, you can check here to see if your information has ended up somewhere it shouldn’t be.