Your iPhone is Spying on You

I just read an interesting article by the Dev Team showing that some applications available in the App Store are spying on you, tracking your personal data and reporting this information “home”.

The apps in question are applications using Pinch Media, a mobile analytics company that aims at helping developers figure out how their users interact with their apps (ie. how long they spend on the app every day, is it accessed over 3G or wifi, etc…). Apparently, apps that use Pinch Media are doing much more than reporting your interactions with the app and go as far as tracking the following information:

  • iPhone’s unique ID
  • iPhone Model
  • OS Version
  • Application version (in this case, camera zoom 1.x)
  • If the application is cracked/pirated
  • If your iPhone is jailbroken
  • Time & date you start the application
  • Time & date you close the application
  • Your current latitude & longitude
  • Your gender (if Facebook enabled)
  • Your birth month (if Facebook enabled)
  • Your birth year (if Facebook enabled)

Pinch Media says the company is no spyware as it requires YOUR approval to track the data, but as the Dev Team explains:

Being an approved app, it must first ask you for permission to use your location. If you tap “Don’t Allow”, it will ask you again in about a minute, the next time its ad changes. So you either stop using this app (because it pesters you so much about the location question), or you finally submit and tap “OK”. From that point on, your location and path info (your actual physical path through your area each time you launch the app) belongs to Pinch Media, Inc. We think that’s a Pinch too much.

I don’t know how concerned you are about your privacy and I assume most people wouldn’t care about that. Although the data being recorded is anonymous, I am not necessarily excited about a company that doesn’t disclose what type of data is collected, and more importantly, how this data is used.

What do you think?