4 out of 10 top US apps require access to the background location to track every move, while the same goes for half of China / Digital Information World apps

Cupertino, March 29, 2021

Remember how many times you clicked "I agree" to the endless terms and conditions of apps and how many times you gave access to your location when you download or use an app? So when you install an app on your device from app stores, you see many pop-ups that list all the necessary permissions, including location access. This includes permission on your phone to perform its functionality, for example, if you install a photo editing application that requires access to photos so that they can edit photos saved on your phone, which makes sense, but there are more many unnecessary permissions, including access to the location. According to a report by Apptopia (shared by Forbes), there are about 40% of applications in the US that require access to the background location, and this percentage increases even to 51% in China.

There are mainly three permissions that the top iPhone apps have asked for the most, which are photos, camera access, and location data. 1 in 4 of the top apps mainly requires contact details and Bluetooth permission, which can also be used by those apps to track your location. There are only a few applications (almost 1 percent) that require HomeKit integration, so you can ask Siri to turn on the lights.

Apple in iOS 14 talked about the transparency of applications about what these applications do with the data they get from different access, including access to location. It means that the analytics company can combine permission requests from all app stores to get an overview of the privacy policy. John Koetsier Apptopia recently asked for the permissions that the first 1500 applications require of the user. The main permission required by these applications was access to photography. Over 2/3 of applications require camera access due to photographic capability. But about 66% of U.S. apps require access to the foreground location, which is relatively more secure because it will require the current location when you use this app, while in the background location access, the app can help you. track the location even when not using the app and there are almost 40% apps that require access to the background location.

You can check the details of an app's privacy tag in the App Store, for example, if you check your Instagram app's privacy tag, it asks for your precise, rough location to find out what access you've given, you can access the setting, find the app, and then click the permission from which you want more details.

But in China, these percentages are really high, as 91% of applications require access to photos, compared to 77% of applications in the US, 85% of applications in China require access to the camera, compared to 68% of applications in the US region ask for the same permission. 76% of applications in China require access to the location, while in the US, this percentage is 66%. Apple's new transparency policy will address user privacy in the iOS 14.5 update, as 73% of people want more privacy for their data and are even willing to pay for it. It is hoped that male users will know exactly what these apps do with your data in Apple's new privacy policy.

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Read more: Android 12 experiences an iOS-inspired privacy feature to inform you about the app that uses your phone's camera, microphone, and location

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