Apple Warns App Makers Recording iPhone Screens

Apple Warns App Makers Recording iPhone Screens

This allows developers to record your screen to see how you interact with the app - mainly used to detect errors and to enhance user experience.

Apps from companies like Air Canada, Hollister, Expedia and Hotels.com record everything you do on your phone's screen while you use them - often without asking for permission.

The software is created to enable companies to figure out why the app malfunctions but, as TechCrunch notes, the fact that it's hidden from users suggests the app developers realize exactly how invasive it is.

Popular iOS apps such as Air Canada and Expedia were found to be recording user actions via Glassbox analytics.

According to a TechCrunch report, several popular iPhone apps from hotels, travel sites, airlines, carriers, and banks, track everything you do inside the app.

So basically, with the help of Glassbox and other similar session replay services, companies are essentially monitoring every move you make on their app.

Apple came down hard on Facebook when it was found to be behind an iOS app that was gathering large amounts of user data. That information, unsurprisingly, is then sent back to the developers. This means anyone with access to these replays can access sensitive information.

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"This gives Air Canada employees-and anyone else capable of accessing the screenshot database-to see unencrypted credit card and password information", the App Analyst said told TechCrunch.

Further, no other app was found to be not masking the sensitive app. The App Analyst argues that users can't make decisions about their data if they aren't properly informed.

While the analysis of screen data may appear to be a legitimate, if creepy, area in data analysis with other several firms in the mix such as Appsee and UXCam, TechCrunch found pressing issues that violate nascent data privacy rules.

Yes, the apps do have a strict privacy policy, but none of them actually include anything about recording a user's screen. None of the apps in question mention session replays in their privacy policies, either. In Air Canada's case, the TechCrunch investigation did not find any mention in its privacy policy that suggests the app sends screen data back to the airline.

'This information helps companies better understand how consumers are using their services, and where and why they are struggling.

"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". In detail, the "session replay" technology allows the companies to play and record the screen.

Additionally, the company said that "captured data via our solution is highly secured, encrypted, and exclusively belongs to the customers we support".

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