“Nutritional information” for app data protection
The information jokingly referred to as “nutritional information” is presented on the detail pages of an app under the heading “App data protection”. Initially, however, only the most important categories from which data are linked to the iPhone or iPad owner appear there. A tap on this list or the option “View details” opens the complete overview. The magazine Forbes has now examined four messenger apps and compared the extent of information gathering.
Signal is more economical than Apple’s iMessage
During the comparison it emerged that Apple’s in-house app “News” (iMessage) only collects a small amount of information and links it to the user, but it does so in terms of data economy signal have to give up. According to the entries under “App data protection”, this messenger only records the telephone number, but does not relate it to the identity of the device owner. Apple, on the other hand, links the email address, phone number, search history and device ID with the user. In addition, iMessage determines the approximate location as well as performance and diagnostic data, albeit anonymously.
WhatsApp and Facebook are hungry for data
Many times more data hungry than Signal and iMessage are Whatsapp and the Facebook Messenger. The latter authorizes access to information from a total of 14 categories, with WhatsApp advertised as “Simple. Reliable. Safe” by the developers, there are nine. After opening the details, both apps reveal long lists of the data associated with the user. With Facebook Messenger, this comprises a total of seven screen pages on an iPad Pro, the information collected ranges from shopping history to financial information and all contact details to browser history, photos and videos as well as health and fitness data. Facebook evaluates all of this information, including for third-party advertising, its own marketing purposes, analyzes and product personalization as well as “other purposes” which are not specified in more detail.
WhatsApp at least without third-party advertising
The list on WhatsApp Messenger is not that long, among other things, data is not read out for third-party advertising. However, the company, which is part of the Facebook group, uses a lot of information such as shopping history, payment data or approximate location to ensure the app functionality. The data collected by WhatsApp are all linked to the owner of the iPhone and can be used to create meaningful user profiles, just like with Facebook Messenger.