Do Apple’s Apps Have a Privacy Loophole?

App Store 2008

Is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) doing enough to protect users’ privacy from intrusive iPhone apps? Researchers from the University of California, San Diego examined 90,000 iPhones in a recent study and found that 48 percent of apps on these devices accessed the unique identifying information from the phone they were installed on, reports the MIT Technology Review.

Since May 1, Apple has forbidden developers from creating “new apps or app updates that access UDIDs [unique device IDs].” Despite this ban, the study’s researchers discovered many of the apps that accessed a device’s UDID had not been updated since that date.

App developers typically use the information on users’ phones to develop profiles for targeted advertisements. Perhaps even more alarming, researchers found that 13 percent of the apps accessed information revealing the device’s location. Approximately 6 percent accessed the iPhone’s address book and another 1.6 percent accessed the music library.