Online shoppers beware, your favourite eshopping site may just be collecting your personal information without your knowledge.
This is according to a privacy risk assessment done by search engine app, Opera Max.
The assessment reviewed 60 of the most popular eshopping apps using privacy mode on Opera Max and found that personal information such as user’s name, email address, locations, search terms and phone number are shared with third parties through trackers.
Included in the list of apps which shared personal information, were Amazon, OLX, eBay and BestBuy.
“The study also shows that as many as 96% of the shopping apps did not use full encryption to connect the apps to their servers. This poses privacy risks to mobile shoppers when they are using these apps,” the assessment notes.
It goes on to say that personal data can be shared with third parties through trackers on shopping apps or unencrypted http connections over mobile carrier connections.
Sensitive data such as bank account numbers and other financial information, which are stored in online retailer accounts or shopping apps, can be intercepted and read by identity thieves via public or unsecured WiFi networks.
“Most people would not reveal their credit card details or full name to employees of a physical store where they live when shopping and browsing for products. But, on mobile apps people are not aware that this kind of information can be shared,” Sergey Lossev, Head of Product, Opera Max, said in a statement.
“That is why we have implemented privacy mode in Opera Max. We want to educate our users by revealing which apps are sharing your data through trackers without your permission.”
Opera Max has announced its privacy mode feature offers real-time alerts on the privacy mode timeline so that users can easily see which apps are sending high-risk requests, thus putting their privacy at risk.
Once Opera Max’s privacy mode is activated, it also encrypts virtually all app data traffic and blocks almost all types of data trackers to ensure users can shop with peace of mind.