These iPhone apps are secretly recording your screen

These iPhone apps are secretly recording your screen
Highlights

Numerous popular iOS apps, including Expedia, Air Canada, Hotelscom, and Hollister, have been found recording user screen taps and swipes without informing them, much less asking for their permission, even as Apple has always called itself as a champion of security and privacy

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Several iPhone apps are recording user screen without their knowledge
  • Some apps inadvertently expose sensitive data


Numerous popular iOS apps, including Expedia, Air Canada, Hotels.com, and Hollister, have been found recording user screen taps and swipes without informing them, much less asking for their permission, even as Apple has always called itself as a champion of security and privacy.

On Thursday TechCrunch reported, "Several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don't ask or make it clear, if at all, that they know exactly how you're using their apps. Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data."

Apps such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, which is a customer experience analytics company and one of the rare companies that allow developers to embed "session replay" technology into their apps.

This technology enables developers to record displays and review how users interacted with their app. This industry is unlikely to go away any time soon as firms rely on this kind of session replay data to understand why things break which can be costly in high-revenue situations.

In the meantime, the iOS apps that were found recording user screens do not mention using session replay technology in their privacy policy.
On the other hand, Abercrombie said that using Glassbox "helps support a seamless shopping experience, enabling us to identify and address any issues customers might come across in their digital experience", according to 9to5Mac.

When questioned, Glassbox told it doesn’t enforce its customers to mention its usage in their privacy policy.

Glassbox spokesperson told, “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, such as when the system keyboard covers part of the native app, Glassbox does not have access to it,”.

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