Apple’s App Store analytics may be able to identify users


From the article: Apple is allegedly able to identify a user in analytics it collects, according to security researchers, via a unique identifier that can be associated with a user’s iCloud account. As a privacy-focused company, Apple’s introduction of App Tracking Transparency, as well as assurances it would not collect identifiable data on a user’s usage habits, is supposed to assure users they won’t necessarily be tracked and their data monetized in some way. In details unearthed by two researchers, it seems Apple may be able to do so.

In a series of Monday tweets, iOS developers Mysk continued researching Apple’s systems, and discovered an ID in its analytics data referred to as “dsId.” It was later determined that this refers to a “Directory Services Identifier,” which is linked to an iCloud account.

Each DSID can, in theory, be collated with an existing iCloud account. If the research is accurate, if Apple chose to do this, it has the associated user’s name, email, and other details relating to the account.

The identifier is included in all analytics data the App Store sends to Apple, with other apps also doing the same thing. Mysk reckons this means “your detailed behavior when browsing apps on the App Store is sent to Apple, and contains the ID needed to link the data to you.”

Categorized as Apple