A survey has found that 41 per cent of iOS applications are able to access a user's location and a third store unencrypted data.
A study of more than 65,000 applications on the Apple App Store revealed tens of thousands tap contact information and access data without explicit user permission. The research also found that 18 per cent of the apps can access a user's address book.
According to Bitdefender, who completed the study, while many apps use these privileges to function, others have no obvious use for the data they may be collecting.
Catalin Cosoi, chief security researcher at Bitdefender, said: “It is worrying that stored data encryption on iOS apps is low and location tracking is so prevalent.
“Without notification of what an app accesses, it is difficult to control what information users give up. We see a worrying landscape of poor user data encryption, prevalent location tracking and silent unjustified address book access.”