Several Companies Discovered To Be Recording Details From iPhone Displays In Secret
10 February, 2019, 21:54 | Author: Leah Owens
The practice, known as session replaying, involves using a third-party company, for this situation, analytics firm Glassbox, to embed code in a mobile app that records user activity. This technology allows every tap, button push, and keyboard entry to be recorded and sent back to the app developments.
Glassbox is created to mask sensitive information like credit card numbers, but not all the apps using it are masking the data fields properly.
Among the apps allegedly recording your interactions with them are apps from Hotels.com, Singapore Airlines, and Abercrombie & Fitch among others. And, these were recorded as sessions without users even being unaware and without their permission, and further wasn't mentioned in the apps' descriptions or policies for that matter. What this means is that all the iPhone apps that are involved in screen recording without users consent would have to either remove the feature or disclose it to the users through Apple'sApp Store.
One of the developers told TechCrunch that such action would include removing their app from the App Store if it isn't following the guidelines. But, after you leave the app, it can't see anything you do on your home screen or anything you type into another app. Apple's iOS operating system would prevent apps from recording your screen all the time, even if they wanted to. In the case of Air Canada, the expert found the app wasn't masking replays from users' screens. In detail, the "session replay" technology allows the companies to play and record the screen. Glassbox provides its customers with the tools to mask every element of personal data.
Many popular iPhone apps from airlines, clothing stores and travel sites may be viewing your on-screen activity.
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In response, a Glassbox spokesperson said that the TechCrunch investigation was "interesting, but also misleading". Google is yet to comment, although its own rules are similar to Apple's: "Apps must not hide or cloak tracking behaviour or attempt to mislead users about such functionality", they contain. There may be several other apps that do the same.
'Glassbox has a unique capability to reconstruct the mobile application view in a visual format, which is another view of analytics, Glassbox SDK can interact with our customers native app only and technically cannot break the boundary of the app, ' the spokesperson said.
Air Canada told TechCrunch that the company "Air Canada uses customer provided information to ensure we can support their travel needs and to ensure we can resolve any issues that may affect their trips".
The company behind the technology is called Glassbox. We are strong supporters of user privacy and security.
"While there may be value in documenting user activity through screenshots, there is also a large amount of risk that the screenshots may capture sensitive data", The App Analyst noted.
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