Personal data sharing via official Apps may lead to data theft, warns Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia has warned against the deliberate sharing of personal data with others via official applications such as Tawkalna and Umrah, it said on its Twitter account.

“Sharing data with others may lead to impersonation, identity theft, or abuse of any service delivered by official applications, such as Tawkalna and Umrah,” the Saudi Prosecution said in a statement

It added sharing data makes the perpetrator subject to criminal accountability. “This includes anyone who incited, helped, or agreed with others to commit the crime,” the prosecution said.

More than 70 per cent of smartphone apps are reporting personal data to third-party tracking companies like Google Analytics, the Facebook Graph API or Crashlytics.

Mobile phones can reveal a lot about their owners: where they live and work; who their family, friends and acquaintances are; how (and even what) they communicate with them; and personal habits. With all the information stored on them, it isn’t surprising that mobile device users take steps to protect their privacy, like using PINs or passcodes to unlock their phones.

When people install a new Android or iOS app, it asks the user’s permission before accessing personal information. Generally speaking, this is positive. And some of the information these apps are collecting are necessary for them to work properly: A map app wouldn’t be nearly as useful if it couldn’t use GPS data to get a location.

But once an app has permission to collect that information, it can share your data with anyone the app’s developer wants to – letting third-party companies track where you are, how fast you’re moving and what you’re doing.