Android apps 8 times more ‘dangerous’ than iOS apps for students, claims study – Times of India


A new study by Me2B Alliance, a non-profit organisation that is “committed to giving individuals more say in how technology treats people”, has claimed that Google’s Android platform is eight times more likely to send data from school apps to “very high-risk” third parties than iOS. For the study, the organisation collected a “random sample of 73 mobile applications used by 38 schools in 14 states across the US, covering at least a half a million people (students, their families, educators, etc.) who use those apps.”
These third parties include ad platforms Google, Facebook and more, with Google receiving about 49% of the data traffic and Facebook getting about 14%. As for high-risk third parties, the study found that about 91% of Android apps shared student data with these parties, compared to 26% of iOS apps. The students’ data is also reportedly being shared with “very high-risk third parties”, with about 20% Android apps being the culprits, while only 2.6% of apps on iOS were found responsible for sharing which means that the Android apps were 8 times more likely to share with very high-risk third parties.
As per the report, the “data sent to third parties typically included unique identifiers (through Mobile Advertising Identifiers, or MAIDs), thus enabling profile building for students – including those under the age of 13 – by third-party advertising platforms.”
It also claims that data of students is being shared with third parties as soon as they opened the app, even if they were not signed in. As per the report, more than 95% of the third-party data channels are active even when the user isn’t signed in.
The report has called out both Google and Apple for not clearly specifying through their respective app stories as to which third parties the user data is being shared with.
It says, “People still have too little information about which third parties they’re sharing data with, and the app stores (Apple and Google Play) must make this information clearer.”



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