5 Notorious Apps That Track Your Every Move

man looking through binoculars with Facebook logo on lenses Credit: Glen Carrie
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Privacy is a huge concern nowadays. After all, we live in such a connected world that it’s easy to put yourself at risk of someone getting a hold of your data.

The worst part is that you don’t just run this risk when surfing the web; you could potentially share too much of your data from the apps you have installed on your iPhone as well.

Unfortunately, some of the most popular apps are tracking more about you than you may imagine. Sure, some of them need this data in order to work, but some apps take it a bit too far.

There are tons of apps that might track you, but these five collect much more data than they should.


You’ve probably already heard numerous reports on how Facebook has mishandled its users’ data in the past, but not much has changed; the Facebook app still tracks a lot more information than it should.

For starters, the app tracks your location. To be fair, Facebook uses this data to show you events, people, or groups that are near you. On the other side, the company also uses your location to target you with “relevant” personalized ads to make money from you. What’s worse is that Facebook has ways of tracking your location even if you disable Location Services entirely.

But that’s not all; since Meta, the company behind Facebook, also owns other apps like Instagram and Whatsapp, it will use your Facebook activity to try to potentially show you “better” ads on those platforms, too.

If you download and use the Facebook app, you’re basically allowing Facebook to track all your activity across the platform. For instance, Facebook knows what you search, the pages you visit, and the groups you’re a part of.

This, of course, doesn’t just happen with the Facebook app. Instagram, another popular app from Meta, also tracks your activity and location, and it might even have access to your contacts if you grant it access.

While the company claims it doesn’t sell your information, it does share it with specific companies in order to deliver targeted ads to you.


You’ve probably used DoorDash in the past. It’s a great way to get food instantly delivered to your place with just a few taps. 

And while the app is extremely useful, it also collects a lot of data. According to a report from Surfshark, which shows some of the most data-hungry apps for mobile devices, DoorDash is actively collecting a lot of information.

As you can probably guess, the app tracks your exact location since it’s necessary to deliver your order on time. However, the DoorDash app is also actively tracking your financial data, search history, browsing history, contacts, and other personal identifiers. 

That might seem like a bit too much information from a food-delivery app, especially when you think about the data breach DoorDash suffered back in 2022. Granted, that wasn’t the platform’s fault, but it did result in a lot of personal and valuable information getting into the wrong hands.


Just like Instagram, TikTok is a huge social media app that everyone has heard of by now. And as you can expect, apps like TikTok need some of your data in order to work properly and make money. 

Naturally, TikTok tracks your location. According to the platform, it only tracks your approximate location based on your device or network information, which it says is used to provide content that you might like more and to show you targeted ads. 

Also, it’s unsurprising that TikTok tracks your activity inside the app. It also stores the private messages you send inside the app, your phone number, or email — whichever you used to create your account — and it even collects the text or pictures from your clipboard if you copy and paste it to or from the TikTok app.

Additionally, according to a 2022 report from Consumer Reports, TikTok also tracks your activity across the web, not just inside the app, which is a similar method other companies like Google or Meta have used. 

Apparently, specific companies are using TikTok pixel-trackers to follow your activity while you browse certain websites — and these will track you even if you don’t have a TikTok account.


If you’re into photography on your iPhone, you’ve probably heard of VSCO before; it’s a useful and powerful image-editing app that lets you customize your favorite pictures with a few taps.

While it’s a handy app, VSCO is collecting a lot of data about you — more than a regular image editor should need.

According to the Surfshark report we mentioned earlier, VSCO tracks pretty much everything, including your purchase history, usage data, contact information, personal identifiers, and even your search history.

According to the report, VSCO also has the ability to track your location, which is something you don’t really want from an app like this.

The Weather Channel

When it comes to checking the weather on your iPhone, one of the most popular third-party apps is The Weather Channel. However, this app is also known for being a bit too intrusive when it comes to your personal data.

As you can expect, The Weather Channel uses your exact location to provide a better, more accurate weather forecast. With that said, the app also actively tracks other data like your contact information, your iPhone diagnostics, your user data, and even your search history.

What’s more, The Weather Channel was under the public eye in 2019 because it was allegedly selling its users’ data.

The worst part is that this isn’t the only weather app that has faced this issue. Other apps like Accuweather have been accused of selling their user’s personal information to make a profit.

Weirdly enough, weather apps are one of the most delicate apps when it comes to your personal data, so be careful to check what each app asks of you before installing them.

Take Control of Your Privacy

Unfortunately, the most popular apps on the App Store are often the ones that track the most of your data. While some of them need a bit of specific personal information to work properly, most of the apps on this list don’t need nearly as much information about you as they’re actually gathering.

Remember that these apps are some of the most popular examples, but most apps in these categories are also tracking you in some way or another. Be careful when downloading social media apps, using food delivery services, or installing weather apps. 

If you want to take control back, be sure to check what type of data the app requires on the App Store before downloading it by looking at Apple’s “Privacy Nutrition Labels” or checking your iPhone’s App Privacy Report for any apps you have installed.

You can also go to your iPhone’s Settings app, select any app, and disable specific permissions like location or the ability to track you while using the app, or visit Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services to disable location services for any of your apps.

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