How to know if apps are privacy safe?

i have a hard time figuring out if a app is privacy safe.

So if you look in the app store, you can not really see out if the app is privacy safe to use.
You can only see these 3 kind of data safety information things:



So i guess a noob will choose for the last one but i am thinking: is this information reliable? and how can I tell if the app is opensource?
you can google every app and look if there is more information about it but thats a pain in the ass.

Is there some more simple/faster way for this?

1 Like

Are those screenshots from Apple App Store?

no google play

AFAIK not all apps are vetted correctly on AppStore Side or PlayStore side.

Older apps on the AppStore that isnt updated prior to the release of such privacy labels will not have the above labels. Playstore may even be worse (historically speaking).

It helps if the app is open source where people can take a look if it phones home, otherwise snooping on your own internet traffic with Wireshark is the only way to be sure if your app “phones home”.


Sure - use the Exodus database to check what trackers and permissions an app uses:


It doesn’t recognize all trackers, though. I’ve found that this app is much better at displaying trackers/analytics, etc:

It probably has a larger tracker database than Exodus has. I haven’t looked into it.

Edit: here’s the tracker databases of both projects, for comparison:


Imo a better approach would be to not trust apps by default. The number of trackers doesn’t give you the full picture because lists like Exodus aren’t always accurate (eg Tor) and tracking can be done without trackers being bundled with the app.

There could be other/better options but I use the RethinkDNS app which lets you deny network access per app and has an “exclude app” option which is default deny. You have to individually whitelist the domains you want to allow. The app logs everything which makes it easy(as easy as it can be) to set up each app like that.

You’ll have to go back into Rethink on an ongoing basis to fix things when they break though. I’m not sure if this is simpler or faster, but it is more robust. The UI is still a little jank and not everything is clearly explained so setting it up takes some work too.

Or you could look up apps in Fdroid first, and then look for them on the Play Store. Fdroid gives you links to the developer and source code.

1 Like

Another option is using TrackerControl

I’m currently dealing with your dilemma!!

Are you only concerned with Android Apps or Windows Apps as well?

I’ll keep an eye on this thread and contribute what I can!

Ok honestly if you have so many apps that it’s a pain in the ass to look each one up, the first thing you should do is get rid of the ones you don’t need. You really don’t want to have that many in the first place.

Then look into switching apps for PWAs when it makes sense to do so. It’s just adding websites to your home screen as if they’re apps. You can read this thread to get a better idea of when they’re appropriate:

And then after doing all that, just look each app up. Some have the app website linked in their Play Store page. You don’t have to do this all at once, take it slowly. Privacy just is a pain in the ass sometimes.

Firewalling will sometimes let you use apps that you don’t trust as much, but if you’re using a lot of proprietary services which depend on network access like Dropbox, Evernote, Todoist, etc, you would want to switch to something better. Again, take it slowly.