App or web site able to access my iPad phone number

Discussion in 'iPad Help' started by Kinsem, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Kinsem
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    Kinsem iPF Noob

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    Hello to all forum members,

    This evening I tapped on a google ads banner inside an app and this popped-up a dialog box proposing a subscription service to be charged to my phone bill.
    The bad thing is that the dialog box was showing the phone number associated to my iPad SIM card!

    So my concern is: can an app or web site access my iPad phone number without my permission?

    This would be a serious privacy violation and open the door to potential frauds!

    I googled a lot about this but couldn't find anything. Did anybody ever had a similar issue?
    Is there a way I can block this?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    If you are running iOS 6, an app can not access your contacts without permission. This might be true in iOS 5 as well, but I can't remember for sure. There were several privacy controls added with iOS 6. Other than Locations, I don't remember which ones where in iOS 5.

    Go to Settings > Privacy > Contacts and see if the problem app is present and enabled. If it is and you turn it off, the app will probably ask for permissions again the next time you use it. Just say no.

    This is pure speculation, but it might be possible that it got the phone contact data from Google. If you are signed into your Google account in the app, it may have permission to use your Google contact information. If it did/does, I doubt the advertiser can see your phone number. It would be more like a (show this guy his own phone number) trick in the banner. Facebook adds have been known to do this.

    Without more detailed information (and probably not then) I can't make any better guesses.
  3. Kinsem
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    Kinsem iPF Noob

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    Hello and thanks for your reply.

    I checked my privacy settings as you suggested but no app has access to my contacts (I'm running iOS 6.1.3).
    Actually I think my iPad "phone" number is not even listed among my contacts.

    I agree with you that the advertiser is probably not getting my number and it is only shown in the banner, but I think it is a very short step to go from this situation to one where the number is actually made available to him.....

    I'm attaching a screen snapshot to show that I'm not just paranoid :)

    Cheers

    Attached Files:

  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    You said this was your iPad's number? The one you find if you go to Settings > General > About > Cellular Data Number?

    I have no idea how this could be pulled by a website. It's not even a valid number for calling purposes (minus jailbreaking which might make it valid for all I know).

    If it is some other number, and you've entered it online at some website, then it might be stored in a cookie. Make sure Safari's settings only allows cookies from visited sites. As an experiment, you can clear all cookies and data in the Safari settings and see if the number still shows up.
  5. Kinsem
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    Kinsem iPF Noob

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    Yes, it is exactly the number you say. It is not a valid calling number but can be used to charge "premium services" (which should in most cases be translated as "frauds") as it actually happened to me: called my operator yesterday and discovered that they had already charged some 50 € :mad:
    I suspect that those companies like mobile pay have some sort of agreement with providers to get your phone number from your ip. If this is the case there is nothing I can do except filing an official complain with the privacy protection authorities.
  6. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    That is outrageous. I've never heard of it happening to anyone else. Please keep us informed on what happens, and how, if you ever figure it out.

    Sorry not to be more help.

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