Marketing Report
eBay and Amazon collect the most user data among Android shopping apps, report

eBay and Amazon collect the most user data among Android shopping apps, report

To prepare for the busiest online shopping season of the year, it is important to understand how your data is being used on popular apps.

According to the research by the Atlas VPN team, eBay and Amazon Shopping collect the most user data out of the analyzed Android apps. eBay gathers 28 data points, while Amazon collects 25 data points spanning 11 data types, including personal, financial, and location data.

The "buy now, pay later" app Afterpay occupies the third spot, collecting 22 data points across 7 data types. Notably, Afterpay is the only app found not only to collect but also to share in-app messages, emails, SMS messages, and credit scores with third parties.

Home improvement retailer Lowe's, health retailer iHerb, and secondhand marketplace Vinted each collect 21 data points. Similarly, home improvement giant Home Depot and Chinese e-commerce site both gather 20 data points across 9 data types.

Out of all 60 apps analyzed, the Kohl's app, belonging to the department store retail chain, stands out for not collecting any data on users.

Vilius Kardelis, Cybersecurity writer, Atlas VPN: "In today's digital age, your personal information is being extensively collected by apps and shared with countless firms. This holiday season, approach all apps aware your data is being collected. Take the time to carefully read privacy policies, be mindful of the permissions you grant, and prioritize safe shopping practices to safeguard your personal information."

3 out of 4 apps share your data

The privacy issues with Android shopping apps extend far beyond data collection.

Out of the 60 analyzed apps, 75% share your data with third parties. Not all collected and shared data types pose a serious threat to your privacy.

Nevertheless, 58% of shopping apps were found to share personal information with third parties, such as your name, email address, phone number, or even your home address.

More than a third (37%) of apps also reveal financial information to third parties, including payment information and purchase history. Additionally, 28% of shopping apps share precise or approximate location

Even photos and videos are exchanged with third parties by 18% of the apps. Some apps (7%) go as far as to share in-app and SMS messages or emails.