APP Circus

We are all keen to have as many APPs as possible on our Smartphones. Instead of collecting post stamps some of us collect APPs on our mobile devices as well as desktop computers. As with almost all so-called for free software, the APPs are not for free, we just pay with our personal information used for some usually not disclosed other purposes. On webpages we are used to at least confirm that we agree to the use. Alternatively, we should have the option to decline the use of transmitting personal information, user analytics or tracking. The organisation “” has published a short overview article on the results of the research by  Konrad Kollnig published in Internet Policy Review. The main message is: even 5 years after the adoption of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) little has changed for the tracking and data collection in the world of APPs. Both Apple store IOS and Google Play Android are concerned.
In contrast to webpages APPs a vast majority of APPs, which we perhaps thought would provide tracking-free access to services, does in fact use “secretly” the tracking. Additionally, many APPs transmit personal information and credit card details even without encryption. A so-called middle man attack would “listen” to the transmission and potentially abuse the accessed information. The proof of the abuse of your financial details will be on the side of the consumer, completely ignorant of the potential threat from all sorts of APPs. This market is evolving with rapid speed and what used to be at the top in 2022 is no longer at the top in 2023.
Based on an online query for France on 2023-11-28 via the data reveal interesting market insights. Gaming is making a new push on the APP-market again. TIKTOK still remains fairly high up in the ranking. Conversion from free download to paid versions seems to work in several instances as well. It needs to be checked whether the paid versions do use less tracking and provide better overall security. A frugal use or regular checking whether you really need all those APPs you have currently installed on your device should reduce your very own cybersecurity risk. It seems like “Less can be more” – fewer  APPS, more security – is also valid in this respect.

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