Home > Resources > streaming apps on iPhone

Privacy vs. convenience: Exploring data usage of streaming apps on iPhone

Martin Tord Updated on Dec 8, 2023 10:44 AM

In an era where on-demand entertainment is in the palm of our hands, our iPhones have become the perfect tools that provide us with movies, TV shows, and music in an instant. Streaming apps have revolutionised how we consume content, offering convenience and a wide variety of content.

However, technological advancement and the wide use of streaming apps also come with added concerns about privacy. Is the convenience these streaming apps offer worth it if it comes at the cost of the user's privacy? The answer is maintaining a balance between privacy and comfort, where your confidential data isn't compromised, but you're also enjoying an endless supply of entertaining content.

In this guide, we'll explore the privacy concerns regarding iPhone's streaming apps, their convenience, and what steps you can take to balance the two. So, without any further ado, let's begin!

What Are The Privacy Concerns of Streaming Apps?

There are privacy concerns that users have when they're using streaming apps. Let's have a look at them in detail:

Data Collection

Streaming apps are notorious for collecting user's data, including device information, location, and viewing habits. This information enables streaming apps to provide you with personalized recommendations according to your likes and interests and targeted advertising.

Location Tracking

Some streaming applications require that you provide them with your location. It enables them to deliver content relevant to your locality or advertising purposes. Users are concerned regarding the need for location information on streaming apps.

Data Security

There have been situations where there have been data breaches and leaks from streaming services, which led to user's data getting exposed. Streaming apps must maintain the privacy and confidentiality of their user's data.

User Profiling

Streaming services build in-depth user profiles after looking at your viewing history, preferences, and interactions. While this enhances the user experience by giving you recommendations tailored to your interests and preferences, it still raises the issue of user privacy.

User Consent

There are additional privacy concerns related to whether users are appropriately informed and give informed consent regarding how their data gets collected and used within the streaming apps.

What Convenience Do Streaming Apps Offer?

While there are privacy concerns, streaming apps also offer a lot of convenience to users. The data collected by streaming apps enables you to get personalised content recommendations that match your likes and preferences. It makes it easy for users to watch and discover movies and TV shows that pique their interest.

Streaming apps also provide a seamless user experience and lots of features. If users are going on vacation or don't have access to the internet, they can download movies and TV shows and watch them even when offline. You can also sync across devices so that the content is easily accessible to you. Streaming apps also enhance the quality of videos based on your internet connection. HD quality ensures a smooth viewing experience and no buffering.

Another benefit of streaming apps is that entertainment is now easily accessible. Gone are the days when you needed television to watch your favourite shows. You have a vast library of content available, reducing the need for physical media and making entertainment instantly available.

How To Maintain A Balance Between Convenience And Privacy?

There are several ways you can create a balance between the two. Users should be aware of what data is collected and how it is used while enjoying the benefits of on-demand content. Apple also tries to enhance the privacy features of iOS while giving users more control over their data.

Review App Permissions

Users should frequently review and adjust the app permissions on their iPhones. They should only permit features and data necessary for the app to function correctly. For example, a weather app doesn't need access to your microphone.

Adjust Privacy Settings

Users should adjust their privacy settings on their devices and within the apps. You can decide what data apps can access, which includes location, camera, microphone, etc.

Use Privacy-Focused Apps

Go for streaming services and applications that prioritise the user's privacy. Look for streaming services that clearly state their privacy policies and are transparent and honest about their data collection practices and how they use it.


If users are concerned for their privacy, then a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is something that they can invest in. A VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, keeping you away from prying eyes and protecting your data.

AstrillVPN is a reliable VPN provider that enhances your privacy and security and ensures that no third parties, such as advertisers or malicious actors, can access your sensitive and confidential data. You can browse the internet anonymously without worrying about your data getting compromised.

Educating Yourself

Users should educate themselves regarding the best data privacy practices and the privacy features and options available on their iPhones. They should understand how their data is handled and the different privacy settings you can use to protect and enhance your data security.

Be Careful While Using Public Networks

Users should ensure they're not sharing personal information or financial details while signing up for a streaming service on public WiFi. With public WiFi, there's always a risk of your confidential data getting compromised and exposed to third parties. You should use a VPN for an extra layer of security if you're using public WiFi.

What Part Is Apple Playing In Enhancing User's Privacy?

Apple is transparent about its privacy policy and the data it collects from users. On each app's product page on the App Store, users can check what data types the app contains and what data is linked to or used to track them. It mentions what data is collected and for what purposes it is used, and you can find that in detail here.

Apple has an AppTrackingTransparency framework. From iOS 14.5 and beyond, you must receive the user's permission through the AppTrackingTransparency framework to track them and access their device's advertising identifier. The Apple App Store also identifies tracking as linking user or device data collected from other companies' apps and websites for targeted advertising or measurement purposes.

It also includes details of what they consider tracking and what they don't. The AppTrackingTransparency framework gives users control over their data and privacy as it needs permission from the user to track them and access the device's advertising identifier. Unless it receives permission from the user to enable tracking, the device's advertising identifier value will be all zeros, and it cannot track them.


Streaming services and apps have enabled users to gain access to content instantly. Users now have several movies and TV shows to choose from, and this convenience is why streaming platforms are gaining popularity, with millions of viewers from all over the world.

Streaming apps also make content recommendations based on the user's likes and preferences. Although these streaming apps offer convenience, they also raise privacy concerns regarding data collection practices. The key is to maintain a balance between the two, where you can avail of their benefits while simultaneously implementing the best security practices to protect your data.

By clicking "Agree" you allow cookies that improve your experience on our site, help us analyze site performance and usage. See Cookies policy.Agree