Popular mobile games in India like Call of Duty Mobile, and Carrom Pool: Disc Game, Candy Crush Saga have been identified as some of the most data-intensive games. This analysis revealed that these games gather up to 17 out of 32 various data points, which encompass personal information like photos and videos, contact details, location data, and contact lists. The report was released on Tuesday, providing insights into the data collection practices of these games.
Surfshark, a cyber-security company, has ranked the data consumption of popular apps in India. According to their findings, Ludo King and Subway Surfers, two widely used apps, have been ranked 38th and 7th, respectively, in terms of their data usage. This ranking reflects the “data hungriness” of these apps, indicating their propensity to collect and utilize significant amounts of user data.
One noteworthy observation is that among the apps examined, only Subway Surfers surpasses the average data collection rate of 9.3. This particular game stands out as it gathers additional data points such as contact information and location data, going beyond the average data collection practices seen in other apps.
As mentioned in the report, both Ludo King and Subway Surfers games utilize user data for third-party advertising purposes. This implies that these games employ the collected data to facilitate targeted advertising from external parties.
Among the 50 popular mobile gaming apps in India, a significant majority of 38 apps employ or share users’ data for third-party advertising intentions. This finding indicates that a large portion of these gaming apps utilizes the collected user data to facilitate targeted advertising campaigns from external parties.
In addition, the report highlights that three of the games among the examined mobile gaming apps collect precise user location data. The collection of such precise location information can potentially expose sensitive details such as users’ home addresses, workplaces, daily routines, or frequently visited locations. This raises concerns about the potential privacy risks associated with the collection and usage of location data by these games.
Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, the spokesperson at Surfshark said, “A significant number of gamers are unknowingly granting permission to share their personal data, unaware of where it ends up.”
He further added, “In our global study of 510 mobile gaming apps, we discovered that the majority use activity tracking across other companies’ apps and websites and could transmit data to third parties, which may include tech companies, advertisers, or data brokers.”
The report emphasizes that the collected data can be exploited for purposes that extend beyond the realm of gaming. Specifically, it can be utilized for activities such as targeted marketing or market research. This suggests that the data collected by these games have the potential to be leveraged for various commercial endeavours, going beyond their primary function as gaming platforms.
Among the top 10 apps globally, 8 Ball Pool has been identified as the most data-intensive app, according to data usage analysis. Following 8 Ball Pool, Subway Surfers and Gardenscapes are ranked as the next most data-hungry apps. This ranking indicates the substantial amount of data these apps collect and utilize in comparison to other popular apps worldwide.
In the analysis, Traffic Rider, Mini Militia-War.io, and Among Us emerged as the least intrusive apps in terms of privacy. These apps were found to collect up to 7 data points, indicating a comparatively lower level of data collection when compared to other apps examined in the study.
Among the 510 most popular games in 60 countries, a staggering 492 of them were found to collect user data. Additionally, a significant majority of 446 games allow tracking across other companies’ apps and websites. These findings highlight the widespread prevalence of data collection practices and cross-platform tracking among the most popular games worldwide.
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Inputs from IANS
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