New Appthority Report Finds Tens of Thousands of Ad-Supported Apps Are Collecting Excessive Data

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Media Release: Appthority, the global leader in enterprise mobile threat protection, today released a new report that analyzed iOS apps in corporate environments and found that more than 24,000 ad-supported apps are hiding their excessive data collection in plain sight, putting mobile users and enterprises at risk.

These apps, which openly acknowledge requesting various types of user data for advertising purposes, were found in more than 70% of enterprise environments. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg as there is a much larger number of apps lurking in the enterprise that collect user data such as calendar, Bluetooth and photos—and are not upfront about their intentions.

Of the more than 2 million iOS apps scanned by Appthority, the 24,000 flagged were just the ones that openly ask users for access permission to deeper device functionality for advertising purposes. In fact, over 98% of enterprises have apps in their environments that display ads. These results suggest that data leakage from ad-supported apps is a much bigger problem than most enterprises realize.

“As a pioneer in the mobile security space, Appthority has long known that advertising within apps like Facebook is common and comes with risks, such as the leaking of users’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII),” said Seth Hardy at Appthority. “However, the Cambridge Analytica exposure made us wonder how many of these apps are directly accessing and using personal information for advertising.”

The reality is that apps that access data for advertising pose additional risks to enterprises and users compared to apps that access data solely for in-app functions. For example, ad-supported apps typically include third-party advertising libraries, which are not managed by the original app that employees trust and install. Therefore, information accessed by these advertising providers is usually not monitored or regulated by the original apps, users or by enterprises.

What’s more, ad-supported apps often access data without any real functional justification. When accessing data, mobile apps have to state a reason for wanting the access. Accessing data for in-app functions is a justifiable reason, but the iOS apps found were accessing data specifically for advertising purposes. This practice poses an important question about data access in enterprise environments: does the benefit of using the app outweigh the cost of losing control of user or enterprise data?

Because the app economy is heavily supported by ads, eliminating all apps that collect and use data for advertising from a device or enterprise environment is often not possible. But, the report also provides recommendations to users and enterprises to safeguard their data including, among others, being selective about granting permission to access data and deploying a Mobile Threat Defense solution to ensure visibility into and remediation of ad-supported and other app risks.

Register to download the full report here.

The post New Appthority Report Finds Tens of Thousands of Ad-Supported Apps Are Collecting Excessive Data appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Uber says it underpaid tens of thousands of drivers in New York City since November 2014 as a result of an accounting error. The company is now working to pay affected drivers an average of about $ 900 each, an amount Uber estimates to total of tens of millions of dollars.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the discrepancy.

How did this happen? Uber was charging its commission — 25 percent of the fare, on average — before deducting other fees, such as sales tax and black car fees. The company will now charge its commission on the net fare after all the other fees are accounted for. The result: A bit more for the driver, a bit less for Uber.

On a $ 10 fare, for instance, Uber previously took $ 2.50. Now, after deducting a 2.5% Black Car Fee, the 8.875 % sales tax, Uber’s take home will be $ 2.22.

Uber, now valued at $ 69 billion, realized its mistake early last week when it was rolling out a new pricing system that charges riders based on what Uber’s algorithms think they will be willing to pay.

As part of that new route-based pricing, the ride-hail company — which has faced increasing public scrutiny since the beginning of 2017 — also rolled out a more transparent trip report for drivers, which showed what they were being paid versus what riders were being charged as well as Uber’s cut. That was in response to critiques over the company’s lack of transparency over its upfront pricing — with which drivers complained they were being paid less than riders were charged.

Here’s a copy of the email Uber is sending drivers:

A copy of the email Uber sent drivers.

“We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed — plus interest — as quickly as possible,” Rachel Holt, the regional manager of U.S. and Canada, said in a statement. “We are working hard to regain driver trust, and that means being transparent, sticking to our word, and making the Uber experience better from end to end.”

So far, Uber believes this mistake was only made in New York, but the company is doing an audit of its other markets.

The head of the Independent Drivers Guild, a group that represents ride-hail drivers, is also asking regulators to investigate whether Lyft and other Uber competitors like Gett and Juno are doing the same thing.

“We also call for regulators to launch an immediate investigation into ride hail applications fare and payment practices in our city, including but not limited to the practice by Uber and other apps of charging commission on gross fares instead of net fares and the use of ‘upfront pricing’ by Uber, Lyft and Juno to create a secret surcharge above and beyond the commission agreed to by the drivers,” said Ryan Price, the executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild.

We’ve reached out to Lyft, Gett and Juno for comment.

This is developing


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