These Mac apps have been secretly collecting your data
After it was discovered that Adware Doctor – an app designed to clear malicious files from your Mac – was secretly collecting and uploading user data to a server in China, Apple kicked the app from the store. Unfortunately, it had already been the number one paid app in the App Store’s utilities category.
Now, a week on from that debacle, 9to5Mac reports that Trend Micro apps Dr Unarchiver and Dr Cleaner are doing the same thing. Both apps are collecting and uploading user data, including browsing history, to their servers. The apps also gathered data on other apps installed on the system too.
Both apps managed to gain access to such information as they require users to grant access to their Mac’s home directory, enabling both apps to scan for viruses and clean up cache. However, once access was granted, both apps would glean a user’s information, compress it to a zip file and upload it to a server.
In Apple’s defence, every app on the App Store is prohibited from collecting this sort of data without explicit consent from the user. Apple then removed both Dr Unarchive and Dr Cleaner from the App Store for violating the rules.
It’s not yet known if any other Trend Micro products have similar issues, but it’s interesting to see that three apps have slipped past Apple’s App Store rules in such a short space of time.
Thankfully Apple seems to be on the case, but if you’re using Adware Doctor, Dr Unarchiver or Dr Cleaner, you might want to wipe them from your system and backup your personal data.