Many free apps are roaming in the market like people who want to quit smoking or other mental health apps. According to a new recent study of 36 mental health apps which has revealed that 29 of them were sharing data for advertising or analytics to Facebook or Google, but many of them weren’t disclosing that to users. This study is the latest to highlight the risks of sharing sensitive information from our phones.
Some of the easily found apps of depression or smoking cessation apps at the Andriod or iOS stores share data. In this new study published on Fridayin the journal JAMA Network Open,researchers have searched the keywords “depression” and “smoking cessation.” After that, they have downloaded the app to see the data put into them was shared by intercepting the app’s traffic.
Much of the data shared by app did not immediately identify the user or was even strictly medical. Out of 36 apps shared the information which gives advertisers or data analytics companies insights into people’s digital behavior.
“Even knowing that a user has a mental health or smoking cessation app downloaded on their phone is valuable ‘health-related’ data,” Quinn Grundy, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto who studies corporate influences on health told in an interview.