Amazon, eBay, and Afterpay Named Top Android Apps for Collecting Shoppers' Data

Study Finds Amazon, eBay and Afterpay as Top Android User Data Collectors

Amazon and eBay have been declared the highest data-collecting platforms among all the Android shopping apps researchers examined.

As per Atlas VPN’s research, besides Amazon, eBay, and Afterpay, other popular apps were also found to be sharing personal details and financial data with third parties.

To shop for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most users turn to smartphones and tablets to secure the best deals. However, it is essential to be aware of potential risks, such as how various vendors collect your data, to navigate the shopping season safely.

According to the latest research conducted by the Atlas VPN team, numerous leading online shopping platforms collect sensitive user data, with some going as far as sharing this information with third parties without the users’ knowledge.

The platforms underwent assessment across various data collection categories, encompassing personal details, financial information, and user geolocation. The evaluated data points included the user’s name, phone number, payment method, and precise location, which were further categorized into extended data types for more in-depth analysis.

In addition, Atlas VPN researchers assessed the Google Play app profiles of the 60 most popular Android apps within the shopping category. The apps were ranked according to the number of user information data points collected.

The researchers chose apps from App Figures’ top Android shopping app charts for 2023 for their analysis. The charts comprised various apps, including shopping, buy now and pay later, and discount offer apps. Researchers have shared their list of the year’s top 15 highest-user data-collecting apps.

According to their report, Amazon and eBay have been declared the highest data-collecting platforms among all the Android shopping apps researchers examined. Reportedly, eBay collects 28 user data points, and Amazon collects 25.

The popular buy-now app Afterpay was the third-highest data collecting platform with 22 data points against 7 data types. It was the only identified app that didn’t just collect data but also shared sensitive data such as in-app messages, emails, SMS messages, and credit scores with third parties.

Next were Home Improvement retailer Lowe’s health retail platform iHerb and Vinted, a secondhand products marketplace. Each collected 21 data points. Chinese e-comm website Alibaba and home goods giant Home Depot collected 20 data points across 9 data types. Poshmark, another secondhand goods retailer, collected significant user data with 19 data points in 7 categories.

The rest of the apps included Nike, Wayfair, OfferUp, Craigslist, ASOS, and H&M apps, each collecting 18 data points. Among the 60 apps examined by Atlas VPN, Kohl’s app didn’t collect any data. A staggering 75% of the apps share user data with third parties. For instance, 52% and 38% of apps shared app activity, app info, and performance data, typically used to enhance user experience. 

Moreover, 58% of the apps shared personal data like names, home addresses, email IDs, and phone numbers with third parties. A whopping 25% of these apps shared device IDs or other unique identifiers for smartphones and tablets.

Around one-third, or 37%, of the apps disclosed financial data, including purchase history and payment details, whereas 28% shared location data with external sources. The extent of data sharing among Android shopping apps is alarming and a threat to user privacy.

Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN, Vilius Kardelis, shared his thoughts on shopping app data collection with, stating that:

“In today’s digital age, your personal information is being extensively collected by apps and shared with countless firms. This holiday season, approach all apps aware your data is being collected. Take the time to carefully read privacy policies, be mindful of the permissions you grant, and prioritize safe shopping practices to safeguard your personal information.”

Surprised? Don’t be!

Smartphone apps are designed to collect user data, and the extent and duration of this collection are subjects of debate. Contrarily, data collection and sharing constitute a lucrative business for technology giants.

In 2021, researchers claimed that Android sends more data to Google than iOS does to Apple. The research suggested that Android devices collect and transmit twice as much data to Google compared to iOS to Apple. However, Google refuted these findings.

In August of last year, researchers compiled a list of the 10 Android Educational Apps that collect the most user data. The list, available here, includes some of the most prominent and widely used Android apps globally.


There isn’t much one can do to prevent apps from collecting data. However, if you are an Android user, consider downloading apps only after reviewing the section on the Play Store that details the data the app collects.

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