Now, we know that apps do track you to a certain extent, but the report found that this was a lot more than what we probably think is being sent. The report’s author Geoffrey Fowler writes, “On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with.”
As 9to5Mac points out, app tracking isn’t new and it isn’t always bad. In some instances, it might even be required for certain apps to work. They also note that usually, it is innocuous where developers want to know what features of an app are being used and which aren’t. However, as the report notes, there is a lack of transparency going on where very few users actually know where their data is being sent to, or when it is being sent.
This means that trying to protect our privacy can be difficult if we don’t know where the leaks are. Fowler does have a suggestion, which is that Apple could require apps to label when they use third-party trackers.