Apple vs. Android: Which platform's apps are more secure?

Sienna Kossman
Personal finance writer
Statistics enthusiast focused on data-driven content

Is your mobile shopping app compromising your privacy?
  • Shopping apps raise privacy, security issues
  • 4 ways to check your apps' privacy, security
  • Security check: Apple vs. Android

When it comes to using mobile shopping apps, it's worth noting that there are differences in the way Android and Apple devices collect data and grant permissions. The discrepancies stem from their different technological architectures, and don't necessarily mean one platform protects consumer privacy more than the other.

"It really comes down to the app itself," says Preet Anand, CEO of BlueLight, a technology company that develops emergency response apps. "If someone does a sloppy job making an Apple app, it's going to be sloppy. The platforms can't fix or control all aspects of a mobile app, that's the developer's job."

From a security perspective, the differences between the Apple and Android platforms exist at an operational level.

"Apple does more upfront to check for security risks before accepting an app into the App Store," says Ross Hambrick, director of Android for Stable/Kernel software development firm.

Google runs checks as well, but is more reactive later on. "If Google catches wind of a malicious app they can push a button and remove it from the store and everyone's phone who downloaded it, just like that," he adds.

Overall, both platforms operate differently but do a good job protecting consumer data, according to Hambrick, but, "that may change if we start hearing about data breaches surrounding a particular app or platform," he says.

See related: Mobile payments raise consumer protection worries, 9 tips for using mobile gift cards safely

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Updated: 01-19-2019