This iOS Security App Shares User Data With China: 8 Million Americans Impacted
As the use of VPNs increases rapidly, a report warns consumers that VPN apps may be collecting information on identities and locations, sharing this data with Chinese authorities. VPNs are typically used to protect the user from online tracking and snooping, allowing them to browse anonymously and achieve access to restricted content. 480 million mobile VPN apps have been downloaded in the past 12 months, up 54% from last year. The use of VPNs in countries where access to information is restricted like China, Russia, and Iran has increased dramatically and made headlines for their capabilities in surpassing censorship.
There are a few free VPNs available on the app store, and experts warn that when you aren’t paying for the app, you may be paying in other ways; through the exploitation of your data to third parties. The report found that the most popular mobile app in the US was VPN Super Unlimited, developed by Mobile Jump. Mobile Jump is Singapore-based but has roots in mainland China. Top10VPN’s head of research Simon Migliano warned American users that the app collects unusually large amounts of personally identifying information, and then uses this information for advertising. Migliano also warns that Mobile Jump explicitly states that it will share data with authorities around the world. Migliano warns users to read the small print when giving an app your personal information.