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Hot on the heels of news that a growing number of iPhone apps allow unauthorised access to your private information, a shocking new study has revealed that jailbroken apps are more secure than those approved by Apple.

According to the investigation, conducted by researchers at the University of California, 170 (21 per cent) of official iPhone apps uploaded the handsets’ unique device identifiers compared to just 25 (four per cent) on third-party apps repository Cydia.

Of the 500 tested in total, one app on Cydia, MobileSpy, which is specifically designed for espionage, uploaded location data and contacts without the user’s knowledge.

The findings come as an iOS developer recently discovered that popular social network app Path uploaded the user’s entire address book to external servers without requiring permission first.

Although Path responded to the matter stating it taken this approach to help users connect more quickly and easily and is due to rollout an update that will give users the chance to opt-in for the functionality, it raised concerns nonetheless that there could be more malicious developers getting away with sensitive data - a vulnerability that’s been more frequently associated Google’s Android platform.

Legal pressure following the revelation has led to Apple changing its App Store privacy policy to making it compulsory for apps to get user’s permission before collecting or uploading any personal data.

"Apps that collect or transmit a user's contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines," said an Apple spokesman.

"We're working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release."

Via:

BGR

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