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Over 787,000 apps on Google and Apple stores do not have privacy policy: Report

Ad-fraud and compliance company Pixalate claims that Google and Apple are hosting many such apps, especially in the health and kids niches

What’s up? Over 787,000 apps on Google and Apple’s smartphone app stores have been reported to have either “undetectable privacy policies” or no such policies at all, US-based fraud and compliance software company Pixalate published in its “App Store Safety Report Q1 2022”. This report analyses over 5 million active apps as of March 2022, across the two major app stores.  What are “undetectable privacy policy apps”? This study considers an app to have a “detectable” privacy policy if the research time had found any “proof of a privacy document” while trawling through the app stores. Otherwise, the app is considered to have either no or an “undetected privacy policy”. Why does it matter? Mobile apps request access to specific device features to operate, such as location services, access to the contact list, etc. In order to access these features, the phone asks for permissions which are usually detailed in the app's privacy policy. However, not all the permissions are used by the app that requests access to them. Often, many permissions requested might not even be needed for the normal operation of the app.  Yet, the fact that access to these permissions has been requested creates additional risks since the permissions can be used at any time in the future. The Pixalate report helps us understand the state of privacy in the market, right now. Key stats: As per Pixalate data, 534,150 (or 17%) of the apps on the Google Play Store do not have a readily accessible privacy policy.…

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