Nine out of 10 health apps harvest user data, global study shows

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Ikram said: “Some of this information collected is used for tracking purposes and profiling purposes, which is done by third parties like advertisers and tracking companies and which is basically a form of data mining and this is done without user consent and it is being done explicitly and implicitly.”

Period17 Jun 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleNine out of 10 health apps harvest user data, global study shows
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletThe Guardian
    Media typeWeb
    DescriptionNine out of 10 mobile health apps collect and track user data, according to a new global study.

    The research published in the British Medical Journal conducted in-depth analysis of more than 20,000 mobile health apps on the Google Play Store, some of which require users to disclose sensitive health information, including step and calorie counters, apps that manage health conditions, symptom checkers and menstruation trackers.

    Muhammad Ikram, a lecturer at the Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub, said the vast majority (88%) were using “tracking identifiers and cookies to track user activities on mobile devices, and some of these applications are actually using tracking across different platforms”.
    Producer/AuthorSoofia Tariq
    PersonsMuhammad Ikram