A report published in The Washington Post reports the activity in the background that an iPhone may have, without users taking account. It is mentioned that during the night there are several applications to transmit data, and that Apple is not doing enough to avoid access. They are marketing, research and other companies interested in the information of the users, who during the hours without activity in smartphones access the data.
The journalist decided to investigate the activity of his iPhone and found that "at 23:43 a company called Amplitude had access to my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 am another company called Appboy had access to the fingerprint of my phone. And at 6:25 am a tracker named Demdex was given a way to identify my phone and send the list to other trackers. " It is a scary story for anyone who has not given permission to access their data, further pointing out that a company called Yelp was receiving a message every five minutes that included their IP address.
The researcher revealed that this type of data was passed by known applications, easily found in anyone's smartphones: Microsoft OneDrive, Nike, Spotify, IBM's Weather Channel and The Washing Post, interestingly the application that supports the publication itself concerned.
In a week, the author says he has found about 5,400 trackers, mostly in applications, generating about 1.5 gigabytes of data for a month, which he says is half the basic AT & T service plan.
As explained, Apps trackers work a bit like cookies on websites. However, in smartphones there is a lack of transparency and it is practically impossible for users to be able to detect the activity. In the case of the journalist, his smartphone has been connected to special software capable of examining the circulation of data called Privacy Pro from a security company called Disconnect, which the more curious users can try to verify the trackers. On Android, the circulation of trackers is similar, but in this case the application is not allowed to interfere with the advertising business.
According to experts, trackers are activated at night by some application developers thinking that they will not interfere with other functions. But data movement only happens if you have turned on background app refresh, which in Apple's case is active by default. This is where the abuse of some companies happens, whose applications circulate the data to third parties, without the users knowing.