Hilary Lamb reports:
A European study has found that half of health apps could be sharing sensitive personal data via insecure connections, and the majority of these apps share health-related data with third-party companies.
The study involved a collaboration of researchers from the University of Pireus, Greece, and Rovia I Virgili University, Spain, who are working to develop improved solutions to protect European citizens’ online privacy.
The researchers looked at 20 free apps available on Google Play, all of which had been downloaded between 100,000 and 10 million times and had a minimum rating of 3.5/5. They studied how the apps stored and monitored personal data, such as information about past health conditions.
Of the apps analysed in the study, 80 per cent shared health-related data to third-party companies, with the other 20 per cent storing data on the users’ phones. This data included text as well as images, such as X-rays.
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