There has recently been a lot of concern into the way in which our iOS apps access our personal data, and then what they do with it once it has been collected. Since the whole Path debacle in particular, users seem to be more concerned by the issue than ever before.
BitDefender is one security firm looking to capitalize upon that concern with a new app called Clueful, which promises reveal what each of your apps is doing with your data and identify the “misdemeanant apps on your iPhone.”
“You’d be surprised how many things an app can learn about you and what you do. Without you ever knowing it,” Clueful’s description reads. “Clueful is the only way to really understand iOS apps, how they use your private data and treat your privacy. This one-of-a-kind product identifies intrusive applications and shows you what they do behind your back.”
Once installed on your iPhone, Clueful takes a peek at every app your have running on your device and then tells you which of your private data each one is capable of accessing, which data they’re likely to be tracking, and then what they might be doing with that data once it has been collected.
Clueful can tell you which apps are accessing your location, tracking your app usage, accessing your address book, reading your UDID, and even draining your battery. According to BitDefender, it is “the only way to really understand apps, how they use your data and treat your privacy.”
But it’s not all bad news. Clueful will also tell you “thing you might appreciate,” like which apps are encrypting your data, and which ones are using an anonymous identifier that cannot be used to track your personal identity.
To do this, it accesses the “Clueful Cloud,” a database that maintains information on iOS apps and how they work. Of course, with hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store, Clueful cannot support every one. But you can bet it supports the most popular ones.
Some of its results are surprising. For example, I found that The Weather Channel is, for some reason, accessing my address book. However, it does have some teething troubles that need ironing out, like displaying apps that you’ve never actually installed — or heard of.
Have you tried Clueful?