Popular iPhone apps, including Expedia, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Air Canada, are reportedly secretly recording users’ screens.
According to TechCrunch, apps for companies including Expedia, Air Canada, and Hollister “are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps.”
“TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps,” TechCrunch reported. “Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data.”
Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com, and Singapore Airlines also reportedly “use Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed ‘session replay’ technology into their apps.”
“These session replays let app developers record the screen and play them back to see how its users interacted with the app to figure out if something didn’t work or if there was an error,” explained TechCrunch, adding, “Every tap, button push, and keyboard entry is recorded — effectively screenshotted — and sent back to the app developers.”
In an interview with TechCrunch, mobile expert “The App Analyst” claimed Air Canada had not been taking proper security caution with the “session replays,” with employees able to see unencrypted private information entered by users.
“This gives Air Canada employees — and anyone else capable of accessing the screenshot database — to see unencrypted credit card and password information,” he proclaimed.
Air Canada responded to TechCrunch with a statement saying, “Air Canada uses customer provided information to ensure we can support their travel needs and to ensure we can resolve any issues that may affect their trips. This includes user information entered in, and collected on, the Air Canada mobile app. However, Air Canada does not—and cannot—capture phone screens outside of the Air Canada app.”
Just last week, iPhone manufacturer Apple was the center of a privacy controversy itself.
FaceTime, which allows Apple consumers to video-call each other through their devices, was revealed to have a bug which could allow one person to spy on the other before they had even accepted the call.
The bug was discovered by a 14-year-old boy in Arizona.
According to a 2018 survey, 82 percent of teenagers in the United States own an Apple iPhone.