Majority of apps still have SDKs accessing private user data

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. February 6, 2019

Despite the roll-out of the GDPR, more than 58% of apps still have at least one SDK that can access private user data, which represents a 3% growth from the previous year, according to SafeDK, the mobile SDK management and visibility solutions provider.

The latest Mobile SDKs Trends report finds that device location, user app lists and contacts were among the most popular types of private data SDKs accessed. SDKs of ad networks generally showed much higher percentages of accessing private user data.

The study also found that the average number of mobile SDKs in Android apps was 18.2, up from 15 back in 2016. However, since the beginning of 2018 there hasn’t been an increase to this number signalling that it may be stabilising.

Companies with more than one billion users tend to employ SDKs more conservatively than others, but in 2018 were using SDKs more than ever before (14.8 SDKs compared to 10 SDKs in 2016).

Meanwhile, the Facebook Audience Network ranked second among all the ad network SDKs, having been integrated into more than 33% of all apps. Google Mobile Ads continues to dominate, which highlights that more apps are now using both ad network SDKs.

However, when it comes to game apps, Unity Ads ranked ahead of Facebook in second place.