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New research from Opera Software found that over half of the top 60 Android shopping apps collect personal information via trackers. However, South Africa’s OLX and Letgo were mentioned as some of the worst offenders as well.
The two South African services were joined by the likes of Flipkart, Amazon, JC Penney, Best Buy and eBay Kleinanzeigen as the shopping apps with the highest amount of trackers.
These trackers collected information such as your name, email address, location, phone number and search terms, Opera wrote in an emailed press release.
The results were obtained using privacy mode in the updated Opera Max tool. The new mode offers real-time alerts of apps sending “high-risk” requests and also claims to encrypt traffic.
Opera explained the process behind the study.
“These results are from a test we have done on the 60 most popular shopping apps in ten countries, including Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom and Vietnam. We tested them on WiFi networks and made at least 100 requests within each app by browsing random products. Then we recorded the result based on what was shown on the timeline of Opera Max’s privacy mode.”
The Opera Max report looked at OLX, Letgo, Takealot, Spree and Gumtree – in addition to major local apps
In a rather interesting discovery, the study also revealed that 96% of the polled apps didn’t use “full” encryption.
The full list of 60 apps tested are:
Amazon Shopping, AliExpress, Americanas, ASOS, Avito, Best Buy, Blibli, Bukalapak, Casas Bahia, Chợ Tốt, Dafiti, Deallabs: Bon plan & Code promo, eBay, eBay Kleinanzeigen for Germany, Elevenia, Flipkart, Groupon, Gumtree (South Africa), H&M, IKEA Store, Jabong, JC Penney, JD Sport, KASKUS Jual Beli, Kleiderkreisel, Lamoda, Lazada, Letgo, Lidl, Magazine Louiza, MatahariMall, Mercado Livre, Myntra, Net-A-Porter, Netshoes, Newegg, OkieLa, OLX Indonesia, OLX South Africa, Paytm, Rakuten, Revolve, Sendo.vn, SHOPBOP, Showroomprive, Shpock, Snapdeal, Spree, Submarino, Takealot, Thế giới di động, Tokopedia, Vente-privee, Wildberries, Wish, Yandex Market, Zalando, ZALORA, Walmart.
In other words, Letgo and OLX collect more information about you than Takealot, Gumtree South Africa and Spree. At least according to this metric.