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Daily Apple Privacy Stats and App Tracking Transparency

Daily Apple Privacy Stats and App Tracking Transparency
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Daily Apple Privacy Stats and App Tracking Transparency

Over the last few years, Apple has invested heavily in user privacy protections. In December 2020, for instance, with the release of iOS 14.3, the tech giant introduced App Privacy Details to the Apple App Store. This new feature requires publishers to provide information about their app’s privacy features in App Store Connect, including information about the practices of third-party partners whose code they integrate into their products. As such, App Privacy Details enables users to better understand an app’s privacy practices before they download it to their devices.

But Apple didn’t stop there. The April 26, 2021 release of iOS 14.5 was accompanied by more privacy-related changes. Chief among these is the App Tracking Transparency feature, which requires developers to request user permission before tracking them for advertising purposes.

In short, Apple is running a full-court press on behalf of user privacy. So, we here at 42matters decided to leverage our app intelligence solutions to see how publishers have incorporated Apple’s new privacy standards into their strategies. This article will cover the following:

How Many iOS Apps on the App Store Use Privacy Labels?

Percentage
of Apps that track private information
Apps that track private information
vs
Apps that don't track private information

70.83% of all iOS apps declare the private information they track. This amounts to 1,225,215 apps. Conversely, 29.17%, or 504,498 apps, have not yet declared the private information they track.

How Many iOS Apps Use Data to Track Users?

12.59% of all iOS apps have declared that they use at least one data type to track users. This amounts to 217,818 apps. On the flipside, 87.41%, or 1,511,895 apps, have not declared that they use data to track users.

How Many iOS Apps Use Data Linked to Users?

26.7% of iOS apps use data linked to users. This amounts to a total of 461,846 apps. On the other hand, 73.3%, or 1,267,867 apps, have not declared that they use data linked to users.

How Many iOS Apps Use Data Not Linked to Users?

29.08% apps use data that is not linked to users. In total, this adds up to 503,080 apps. However, 70.92%, or 1,226,633 apps, have not declared using non-user data.

How Many iOS Apps Have Access to User Background Location?

Background Location refers to an aspect of Location Services where apps leverage information collected from cellular, Wi-Fi, and other networks to determine the approximate location of a device. Moreover, with this permission, apps do not need to be open to collect location information. Indeed, as the name implies, these apps operate at all times “in the background.”

Currently, 15.96% of all iOS apps have declared that they leverage Background Location or they collect Coarse or Precise location. In total, this amounts to 276,049 apps.

How Many Free/Paid iOS Apps Collect Data?

42.56% of all free iOS apps have declared that they collect privacy data. This amounts to 693,209 apps. However, this also means that 57.44%, or 935,683 apps, have not declared that they collect privacy data. Moreover, if a free app collects privacy data, it will collect an average of 11 data types.

9.89% of paid iOS apps have declared that they collect privacy data. This amounts to 9,971 apps. However, this also means that 90.11%, or 90,850 apps, have not declared that they collect privacy data. In addition, if a paid app collects privacy data, it will collect an average of 6 data types.

Which App Store Genres Collect the Most Data?

In the chart below, you will see the App Store genres that collect the most types of data:

Currently, Not known genre collects the most data types, averaging 31 types of data for every app that collects private information. Business is second, averaging 15 types of data; Arcade is third, averaging 28 types of data; Lifestyle is fourth, averaging 16 types of data; and Food & Drink is fifth, averaging 19 types of data.

How Many iOS Apps per Genre Declare Data Collection?

In the chart below, you will find the five genres that collect the most private data. This data is determined using the total number of apps that collect private data, as well as the percentage of apps that do so.

24,260 apps in the Not known genre genre access private data. This represents 27.21% of apps in the genre. Next comes Business, with a total of 67,994 apps, or 11.07%; Arcade, with a total of 9,488 apps, or 10.64%; Lifestyle, with a total of 62,896 apps, or 10.24%; and Food & Drink, with a total of 58,733 apps, or 9.57%.

What Is User Data Most Often Used For?

Last, but not least, you’ll find a list of the uses for user data, declared by app publishers:

Currently, App Functionality is the most common way for data linked to you, with 405,209 apps, or 88%, using it for this reason. The second most common reason is Analytics, as stated by 212,426 apps, or 46% of apps; the third most common reason is Product Personalization, as stated by 168,061 apps, or 36% of apps; the fourth most common reason is Developers Advertising, as stated by 107,077 apps, or 23% of apps; and the fifth most common reason is Third Party Advertising, as stated by 81,357 apps, or 18% of apps.

Currently, App Functionality is the most common way for data not linked to you, with 357,643 apps, or 71%, using it for this reason. The second most common reason is Analytics, as stated by 297,641 apps, or 59% of apps; the third most common reason is Third Party Advertising, as stated by 98,006 apps, or 19% of apps; the fourth most common reason is Product Personalization, as stated by 84,951 apps, or 17% of apps; and the fifth most common reason is Other Purposes, as stated by 54,366 apps, or 11% of apps.