Surfshark analyses data acquisition by top mobile games, from knowing your location to reading your texts

More than 500 apps were analysed in the full study

Surfshark analyses data acquisition by top mobile games, from knowing your location to reading your texts

VPN company Surfshark recently analysed the amount of data mobile games acquire from users, synthesising its findings into an average across the top games across 60 countries. Overall, 510 apps appeared in the study.

Surfshark’s measuring system was to attribute points based on the types of data mobile games acquire, from user identities to tracking data across websites. An additional 20 percent was also added to the points total for any games that share data with third-party advertisers.

High scores

Overall, the average "hunger index" score was 26.9. NetEase’s Eggy Party was highlighted for scoring 35, a total 30.2 percent higher than the average. Surfshark found that the game collects data on users’ names, precise locations and phone numbers.

Roblox also came above the average with a score of 30, collecting email addresses, search history, coarse location data and more. Playrix’s Gardenscapes, meanwhile, scored an incredibly high 42, a whole 56.3 percent above the average in the dataset with its tracking of emails and text messages, as well as information sharing with third parties.

Around the world

Of all the countries in the study, Canada scored the highest in its playing of data-hungry games at 14 percent more than the average. Similarly high scorers were Germany, Austria, Hungary and the US, each coming in at more than 10 percent above average. However, Surfshark noted that this doesn’t mean all apps played in these countries are "equally voracious". In fact, the country producing "the most data-hungry mobile games" is actually France.

The lowest scores in the analysis of played games came out of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam.

Surfshark's full report dives deeper into how points were attributed and which popular games take what types of data.

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