Not only can they record activity, but they can also screenshot your screen as well as document when you tap, swipe, type or push buttons within the app.
While the software can prevent sensitive data like credit card information or passwords being recorded by blocking it out, the App Analyst found that this feature was not always successful, leading to personal information being displayed. According to TechCrunch, several popular iOS apps use Glassbox, an analytics company, to deploy session replaying into their apps. But none of the apps they examined made it clear that they were recording a user's screen or that they were relaying those recordings to each company or to Glassbox's cloud.
Plenty of popular iOS apps have been caught recording iPhone users' screens without their consent. This third-party firm embed this technology in the mobile app.
Nonetheless, as TechCrunch called attention to, the issue is less with Glassbox and more with the travel and hotel chains, none of which reveal the use of this technology to users.
TechCrunch found that some of the companies sent the screenshots to Glassbox while others sent it to servers in their own domain.
In response, a Glassbox spokesperson said that the TechCrunch investigation was "interesting, but also misleading".
Following the widespread media coverage, Apple has told app developers to disclose the screen recording behavior in a proper manner or completely remove this functionality.
Tech Crunch subsequently asked the Analyst to look at a sample of apps that Glassbox had listed on its website to see if these other apps have the same problem. The company does this, its spokesperson said, to "ensure we can support their travel needs and to ensure we can resolve any issues that may affect their trips".
The company behind the technology is called Glassbox. Is there a difference between gathering data from users if this data is used to improve apps versus collecting information about users? Apps don't let you know that they're doing this in their privacy policies, much less that app itself! Yet we believe it is partial and doesn't adequately convey the many benefits for our customers and their users; or reflect the security and privacy capabilities inherent in Glassbox.