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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

48.8% of all iOS apps declare the private information they track. This amounts to 921,069 apps. Conversely, 51.2%, or 966,288 apps, have not yet declared the private information they track.

How Many iOS Apps Use Data to Track Users?

8.4% of all iOS apps have declared that they use at least one data type to track users. This amounts to 158,617 apps. On the flipside, 91.6%, or 1,728,740 apps, have not declared that they use data to track users.

How Many iOS Apps Use Data Linked to Users?

18.18% of iOS apps use data linked to users. This amounts to a total of 343,184 apps. On the other hand, 81.82%, or 1,544,173 apps, have not declared that they use data linked to users.

How Many iOS Apps Use Data Not Linked to Users?

20.34% apps use data that is not linked to users. In total, this adds up to 383,817 apps. However, 79.66%, or 1,503,540 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, 11.19% of all iOS apps have declared that they leverage Background Location or they collect Coarse or Precise location. In total, this amounts to 211,076 apps.

How Many Free/Paid iOS Apps Collect Data?

29.56% of all free iOS apps have declared that they collect privacy data. This amounts to 522,541 apps. However, this also means that 70.44%, or 1,245,196 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.

6.6% of paid iOS apps have declared that they collect privacy data. This amounts to 7,856 apps. However, this also means that 93.4%, or 111,117 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, Arcade collects the most data types, averaging 28 types of data for every app that collects private information. Puzzle is second, averaging 26 types of data; Action is third, averaging 28 types of data; Business is fourth, averaging 16 types of data; and Lifestyle is fifth, averaging 16 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.

6,992 apps in the Arcade genre access private data. This represents 17.38% of apps in the genre. Next comes Puzzle, with a total of 4,972 apps, or 12.36%; Action, with a total of 4,711 apps, or 11.71%; Business, with a total of 50,190 apps, or 10.79%; and Lifestyle, with a total of 49,756 apps, or 10.7%.

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 301,598 apps, or 88%, using it for this reason. The second most common reason is Analytics, as stated by 166,198 apps, or 48% of apps; the third most common reason is Product Personalization, as stated by 128,428 apps, or 37% of apps; the fourth most common reason is Developers Advertising, as stated by 82,709 apps, or 24% of apps; and the fifth most common reason is Third Party Advertising, as stated by 61,387 apps, or 18% of apps.

Currently, App Functionality is the most common way for data not linked to you, with 272,454 apps, or 71%, using it for this reason. The second most common reason is Analytics, as stated by 233,321 apps, or 61% of apps; the third most common reason is Third Party Advertising, as stated by 74,987 apps, or 20% of apps; the fourth most common reason is Product Personalization, as stated by 64,809 apps, or 17% of apps; and the fifth most common reason is Other Purposes, as stated by 41,700 apps, or 11% of apps.