Uni Research Finds That Fertility Apps Collecting And Sharing Sensitive Data Without Users’ Permission

BACKGROUND:

New research reveals that the majority of top-rated fertility apps collect and even share intimate data without the users’ knowledge or permission, a collaborative study by Newcastle University and Umea University has found.

Experts Comments

May 05, 2021
Ilia Kolochenko
Founder and CEO
ImmuniWeb

From a technical viewpoint, it’s an arduous task for Google to control applications’ privacy. Google is already undertaking a considerable amount of effort to scan Google Play apps for malware and simple OWASP Mobile Top 10 vulnerabilities.

 

An application’s privacy, however, almost always require human effort and solid legal expertise. Moreover, some of the data protection and privacy practices, taking place on the application developer’s side, are impossible to be properly verified

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From a technical viewpoint, it’s an arduous task for Google to control applications’ privacy. Google is already undertaking a considerable amount of effort to scan Google Play apps for malware and simple OWASP Mobile Top 10 vulnerabilities.

 

An application’s privacy, however, almost always require human effort and solid legal expertise. Moreover, some of the data protection and privacy practices, taking place on the application developer’s side, are impossible to be properly verified unless you perform a comprehensive on-site audit.

 

The reported violations of privacy undoubtedly violate GDPR and most other modern privacy laws such as CCPA in California, LGPD in Brazil or PDPA in Singapore. Moreover, in some jurisdictions including some EU countries, intentional misuse and mishandling of sensitive PII may trigger a criminal prosecution in addition to harsh monetary penalties imposed by GDPR.

 

In view of the aggressive privacy enforcement and regulatory regime in the EU, we may expect that Google will sooner or later be held liable for wrongful privacy practices of Google Play mobile applications. On one side, it will provide greater certainty and safety to the users, on the other, Google will likely shift the cost of privacy audits to the developers. This will make the app marketplace much less competitive by pushing SMEs away by exorbitant costs.

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