Apple took down a popular Mac application for reportedly stealing users' browser data. On September 7, Apple deleted Adware Doctor from their store after it was found tracking and stealing various personal information from its users. As per the researcher, the Adware Doctor was collecting the browsing history of the users and was sharing the information with the China-based servers.
Facepalm: After being caught uploading user's browser history to the cloud, Trend Micro has issued an apology.
Facebook just last month clashed with Apple over data collection concerns surrounding its controversial Onavo Protect VPN app; voluntarily removing its service from the App Store after talks with the iPhone manufacturer.
News is reporting that Apple has removed several Trend Micro products from its Mac store alleging the company was harvesting user data.
But, according to what was published by the well-known security researcher Patrick Wardle, this application is accessing user data for which it did not warn that it would consult and who should have access.
Most of these apps distributed by Trend Micro.
It was removed by Apple, but the developer renamed it as Adware Doctor which has been sold via the App Store until this week.
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"From a security and privacy point of view, one of the main benefits of installing applications from the official Mac App Store is that such applications are sandboxed", Wardle blogged.
9to5Mac| Sample browsing data collected by the app.
It was then he discovered that the app creates a password-protected archive called history.zip, which it then uploads to a server which he claims to be based in China.
The takedown comes just days after Privacy First and Wardle found that another App Store security product, AdWare Doctor, was pulled for exhibiting almost the exact same malicious activity. In a blog post, the company said that the apps "collected and uploaded a small snapshot of the browser history on a one-time basis, covering the 24 hours prior to installation". Although China is not getting your data from Trend Micro, the firm still had some major trust issues to address.
However, it added that it had made a decision to remove this function from the apps.
Despite denying any wrongdoing, Trend Micro said it was taking steps to reassure users that their data was safe. A spokesperson did not return requests for comment.
The tech giant Apple had been alerted to this situation for some time but chose not to take the app from its store.
Reed is telling Mac owners to be wary of unnecessary apps.