Our first ever test of camera companion apps from major manufacturers, including Canon, Nikon and Sony, has found that eight of the sixteen Android and iOS apps we tested share personal information without your knowledge or permission.
One app in particular for the China-made Yi Mirrorless camera, which is only available online in the UK, sends a considerable amount of unauthorised personal data back to the company, including your network name and password.
Both the Android and iOS versions of the apps for Olympus and Sony cameras share your location, as does the Android version of the Fujifilm app and the iOS version of the Nikon one. While none of these represent any major privacy or security issues, this level of tracking is unnecessary and invasive.
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Controlling your camera via an app on your smartphone or tablet is nothing new. Apps for your camera help to simplify the process of transferring files for editing and sharing. Plus, the app makes it easy to snap a shot if you want to be in a family portrait, too.
But with the constant threat of data breaches, the security of devices and apps that are internet-connected is of the utmost importance. When you sign up for products or services, you need to know what will happen to the personal information they gather and who has access to it.
For the full results, see our camera apps and data protection advice guide. We break down the results by phone operating system to uncover which ones transmit your data and which ones don’t.
Camera apps tested
We tested the following apps for Android and iOS to identify the ones that compromise your data:
- Canon Camera Connect App
- Fujifilm Camera Remote
- Nikon SnapBridge
- Olympus ImageShare
- Panasonic Image App
- Ricoh Image Sync
- Sony PlayMemories Mobile
- Yi Mirrorless – AI-Art Edition
Which? advice on camera apps
No camera app should transfer any personal data without your knowledge. Check the access permissions the app asks for when you first install it so you can be sure what information you’re revealing before you first use it.
If possible, try to deny the permissions for sharing your location and camera details. You should also read all the terms and conditions for the app before installing it on your phone or tablet.
If you think an organisation has lost your data, you can take action to protect yourself and, in some cases, claim compensation.
However, we think the government should do more to protect consumers from data breaches. Visit Which? calls for collective redress following data breaches to find out more.