New Study Shows Instagram Is “The Most Invasive App”

Instagram app on smartphone
Instagram discovered to be the “most invasive app” in a new study. Photo by from Pexels

A new study from cloud storage firm pCloud shows that Instagram is the “most invasive app.” The group analyzed newly-introduced App Privacy labels on apps in the Apple App Store.


The study shows Instagram collects 79% of personal data and shares it with third parties. This includes contacts, location, financial information, and search history.


“Any information you agree to be gathered by an app when signing up can be analyzed for their benefit and even shared. Everything from your browsing history to your location, your banking details, your contact details, and your fitness levels can be valuable for apps to store, use, or sell on,” wrote Ivan Dimitrov, a digital manager with pCloud.


Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, was the second-worst offender. Facebook was found to give away 57% of user data to third parties. This includes companies associated with Facebook.


Food delivery apps, including Deliveroo and Uber Eats, didn’t score too well either. Both apps were in the top ten of invasive apps. Other food apps did better, such as JustEat and My McDonald’s, which give away no user data.


The new privacy labels force tech companies to publicize how much they track users. Google has come under fire for delaying a similar feature with its store and admitting that it collects information from users, including locations, browsing history, financial information, and audio data.


Facebook said that the labels don’t provide the proper context for data collected when asked for comment.


“We’ve built transparency into our products and controls that help people manage their privacy,” said a spokesperson for Facebook.

“But the format of Apple’s labels, which this report relies heavily upon, is too broad and ignores how data is used in context. They don’t allow us to offer people specific information about the types of data we collect and where we collect it, which unfortunately leads to confusion.”

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