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09 February 2019, 07:01 | Casey Mitchell
Masking sensitive data sometimes failed in Air Canada session replays
This means that there is absolutely no way the user can know their screen is being recorded by an app.
This, the expert said, could be a problem if there was inadequate masking of data.
App analysts have already predicted that since all of the apps listed above use Glassbox, there is the possibility that sensitive banking information and passwords have already been captured. It pushes a product called "session replay", allowing app makers to see what users do in the app. The app then beams the reply back to the Glassbox servers. But, let's be honest: Even if apps warned you in their privacy policies, would you even notice?
Apple's love of privacy, but it turns out some iPhone apps might be recording users' screens without them knowing it. So really, there's no way to know.
In a recent tweet, Glassbox boasts about signing a deal with Air Canada, one of the apps TechCrunch has found to be among the worst offenders. Neither did Singapore Airlines.
When asked by TechCrunch why their privacy policies failed to mention the screen-grabbing feature, each company responded with vague answers.
Abercrombie said the "session replay" technology helps create "a seamless shopping experience, enabling us to identify and address any issues customers might encounter in their digital experience".
They made no comments on session replays. Sadly, Glassbox is hardly the only one of its kind and that app analytics industry isn't going away any time soon.
Expedia noted that its brands aren't using Glassbox on any of its "native applications for iOS or Android". These replays allow developers to see exactly what you do with their apps and understand what, if anything, went wrong during a session.
From a user experience perspective, this makes sense. The favorite iPhone apps are recording every action on your phone, along with confidential information.
In the case of Air Canada's app, the airline also isn't masking Glassbox's files when they're sent from the user's mobile device to the analytics firm's servers, according to TechCrunch'sreport.
Apps haven't been up-front about this data collection. The first step, he says, is having companies be more honest about how they collect their users' data and who they share it with.
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Since the reports were published, an Air Canada spokesperson has told TechCrunch that it 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".
In an official statement, a company spokesperson pointed to a keyboard app, which although it covers certain applications, it doesn't provide access to its customers to see logged data.
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