Poison Love

"For your poison love has stained the life
 But in my heart and soul dear
 And I know my life, will never be the same
 While my pleadings have all been in vain
 For you and you alone dear
 And you know that you are guilty of this shame"  - Alison Krauss

Apple has made an amazing privacy step for its user population, especially on the IOS-based devices. Through the improved App Store, it is now possible to see exactly what privacy information you are potentially giving up using a specific app. So I started being curious about the apps loaded on my devices. Curiosity gave way to a desire to dig deeper into the poisoned love of mobile apps. So here below is what I have found to this point. Please note, this is a work in progress with a new revision planned very soon. 

Apple lists the items that may be tracked or linked in three categories. 

  1. Data used to track you- “The following data may be used to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies.”
  2. Data used to link you – “The following data, which may be collected and linked to your identity, may be used for the following purposes.”
  3. Data not linked to you, but collected – “The following data, which may be collected but is not linked to your identity, may be used for the following purposes.”

Every new revision of an app must provide this data to Apple for the App Store. This is a big positive step for privacy, your privacy. This allows you to understand what is being tracked, by whom, and for what. With this in mind, I started the journey. First, I will disclose, Google has not released an update for their apps since the new Apple policy launched. However, since Google is in data aggregation, it is no stretch to assume they are collecting a significant amount of information on you based on their user agreements. The best way to describe this concept is with the simple phrase, “Google is your pimp.” They sell your online activity to advertisers, campaigns, and other affiliated tech companies. This is how they provide all the “free” stuff – searches, emails, cloud storage, etc… 


Web Browsers

AppCategoryRisk Ranking
Brave BrowserBrowser10
Firefox BrowserBrowser500
Google Chrome***Browser20000
SafariBrowserTBD

Communications \ Chat

AppCategoryRisk Ranking
ThreemaCommunications5
SignalCommunications15
Wickr MeCommunications20
Wickr ProCommunications30
iMessageCommunications400
TelegramCommunications400
WireCommunications410
FacetimeCommunications700
MarcoPoloCommunications715
MS Teams*Communications2000
ZoomCommunications2700
WhatsAppCommunications3200
FB MessengerCommunications15000

Email

AppCategoryRisk Ranking
AppleMailEmail305
Outlook*Email3405
Yahoo MailEmail6325
Gmail***Email20000

Financial

AppCategoryRisk Ranking
BBT – U**Financial0
Wells Fargo MobileFinancial320
American ExpressFinancial505
Apple WalletFinancial820
Citi CardFinancial3305
Bank of AmericaFinancial4020
VenmoFinancial4760
Chase BankFinancial7210
Google Pay***Financial20000

News \ Opinion

AppCategoryRisk Ranking
Wall Street JournalNews/Opinion3825
CNNNews/Opinion4000
Fox NewsNews/Opinion4200
ESPNNews/Opinion4525
New York TimesNews/Opinion5105
MSNBCNews/Opinion9500

Search App

AppCategoryRisk Ranking
Duck Duck GoSearch40
Google Search***Search20000

Social Media

AppCategoryRisk Ranking
MeWeSocial Media415
TikTokSocial Media6905
SnapChatSocial Media7200
TwitterSocial Media12300
LinkedInSocial Media14900
FacebookSocial Media18500
InstagramSocial Media18900
Youtube***Social Media20000
* Expected due to the enterprise nature of the app
** App developer reports that it collects no data on usage, or user ID.
*** Google does not provide detail at this time, so a risk score of 20000 is set as a default

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