Education Apps Send Data to ‘Very High Risk’ Third Parties 8 Times More on Android As Compared to iOS

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 4 May 2021

app tracking transparency iphone data

A new report published today claims that the educations apps, used by schools and other institutions, send the data collected by them to ‘very high risk’ third parties. Moreover, the report claims that the transmission of this data takes eight times more on Android than on iOS.

Apple, so far, has been proud of its privacy claims. The company vouches for user privacy, and the same can be seen with privacy features introduced in iOS 14. Even the recently introduced App Tracking Transparency has been built on protecting user’s privacy, the company claims.

Now, a new study published by Me2B Alliance claims that student’s data is at risk as the apps being used by these educational institution sends data to very high-risk third parties. The data was collected from 73 apps used by 38 schools. On an average, 6 out of 10 school apps send student data to third parties.

The analysis found that the majority (60%) of school apps were sending student data to a variety of third parties. These included advertising platforms such as Google, to which about half (49%) of the apps were sending student data, as well as Facebook (14%). On average, each app sent data to 10.6 third-party data channels.

But, out of these apps, 91% of the apps on Android sends data to high-risk third parties, whereas only 26% of the apps on iOS sends the data to these parties. Me2B says that App Tracking Transparency, recently introduced with iOS 14.5, may further increase the gap, however, it “may not fully remove the risk of profile building.”

Adding on to the report. Me2B says that neither the Google Play Store nor the Apple App Store includes details on which third parties are receiving the data. It says, “no practical way to understand to whom their data is going, which may well be the most important piece of information for people to make informed decisions about app usage.”

Recently, a report claimed that Google collects 20 times more data from Android than Apple did from iPhone and iPad. It says that Android sends 1MB of data — like location history, and data from Chrome, YouTube, etc — every 12 hours, whereas Apple collects about 52KB of data from iPhones and iPads.

The new report builds on the same theory, potentially putting students’ data at risk. Do you know someone using educational apps on their iOS device? Do you think App Tracking Transparency is going to increase this gap even more? Let us know in the comments section below!

[Via Me2B Alliance]