Some airline, hotel booking apps on iOS found recording user screens

Apple to developers disclose screen recording or be removed from App Store

These Mobile Apps Could Be "Stalking" Your Every iPhone Move

This allows developers to record your screen to see how you interact with the app - mainly used to detect errors and to enhance user experience.

The analytics services that several popular iOS applications are now using power actions like screen recording without user knowledge, according to a recent discovery. "Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging or otherwise making a record of user activity", it said. Further, the apps also don't seek user consent regarding screen recording. The company spokesperson added, however, that the airline "does not - and can not - capture phone screens outside of the Air Canada app".

TechCrunch, along with The App Analyst, found that some airline, hotel, and retail apps use embedded technology from a company called Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm. For the most part, not withstanding bugs like the FaceTime one exposed by a teenager, Apple does a good job of telling you when an app is accessing personal data such as location services or contact information. This technology allows every tap, button push, and keyboard entry to be recorded and sent back to the app developments.

In some cases, these recordings did not adequately mask sensitive user data, which included passport numbers, credit cards and other data.

Recently, the source said that they have found Air Canda's iPhone app was recording screen without properly masking the confidential data. The breach leaked passport numbers and other sensitive data. They're also likely aware that masking isn't always effective in protecting their users' data, so of course they'd be reluctant to admit that they're doing this.

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According to TechCrunch and analytics company App Analyst, some popular iPhone apps are getting much more. Worst still, many of this travel and retail apps that was embedded with Glassbox's technology had disclosed in their privacy policy that such an intrusive app was even put in place. There's literally no way a user can know their screen was being recorded all this time. However, Glassbox says the SDK available for developers "cannot break the boundary of the app", which means they can't access any information from outside the app. These apps are associated with a number of specific large companies who have been using a service called Glassbox.

Apps haven't been up-front about this data collection.

"Air Canada uses customer provided information to ensure we can support their travel needs and to ensure we can resolve any issues that may affect their trips", said a spokesperson".

When asked by TechCrunch why their privacy policies failed to mention the screen-grabbing feature, each company responded with vague answers. In addition, Glassbox said the data they capture is "highly secured, encrypted, and exclusively belongs to the customers" the company supports.

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