An example is the recent report by Appthority published in the PC Magazine that highlights blatant data privacy and security issues with the iPharmacy app. The iPharmacy app allows individuals to identify pills and manage their medications. Issues regarding lack of proper data encryption, sending personal information to different ad networks, allowing access to identifiable personal information for analytics are cited in the report. According to Appthority "For an app that has earned a top developer award from Google Play, [we] found it to be one of the top offenders when it comes to risky privacy behaviors for apps in the health or medical category".
Unfortunately these data security and privacy issues exist in a number of mobile apps, especially those apps that are available for free. Privacy policies do not exist or are trivial at best. Just think about this for a second. Why is the app offered free? How are the app developers making money if they are not charging us for the product/service they provide? Some companies give away a free version with the hope that we upgrade to the paid version of the app with more features. For many other app developers, the real product these companies are selling is not the app but us, the consumers. The app developers give us the app for free so that they can collect our personal information, learn about our buying habits and sell this information to advertisers who can then bombard us with ads in the hope of getting us to buy the products they sell.
Giving identifiable personal/medical information to ad agencies or leaving it unencrypted, leaves the users of the app susceptible to financial or medical identity theft. Imagine this information in the hands of criminals who can exploit the data in harmful ways.( Learn more about the disastrous consequences of medical identity theft and steps you can take to prevent it)