More Than 25% Of Android Apps Know Too Much About You – Dark Reading

Most Android applications are just too invasive privacy- and security-wise, according to separate studies out this week from Bit9 and Juniper Networks that quantify just how risky some Android apps can be to privacy and security due to their promiscuous permission policies.

Some 26 percent of Android apps in Google Play can access personal data, such as contacts and email, and 42 percent, GPS location data – in many cases, whether they need it or not. That’s the finding from some 412,000 Android apps analyzed by Bit9. Other findings from the research: 31 percent of the apps access phone calls or phone numbers, and 9 percent employ permissions that could cost the user money, such as incurring premium SMS text message charges.

via More Than 25% Of Android Apps Know Too Much About You – Dark Reading.


4 thoughts on “More Than 25% Of Android Apps Know Too Much About You – Dark Reading

  1. Not too long ago, my friend told me that I could download a software to text for free (both in the States and internationally) when I have internet access. In the attempt to stay connected, make use of campus wifi, and save money, I downloaded it, registered and account, and started to use it. The app was downloaded through App Store, and it was for free. It’s nice that I can text people for free, but then it becomes bothering. It is designed in a way that people would “accidentally” click on ads for sure, because the ads bar pops up a few seconds later and push the text box up, so you would tap the ads when you intend to type text. Every time, it would then direct me to my App Store page or safari to download some kind of software.
    You would be given the option to purchase an ads free feature for a certain period of time. (It’s really interesting how ads have become so overwhelming that people can make money off going ads-free.)
    At the same time, I have been receiving a bunch of junk mails. Soon after, I realized those emails actually corresponded to the ads I clicked on.
    I tend not to read every single word in any agreement when I try to download something or use some software, but it is real creepy that even with all the privacy agreement in place, when I turn over any information of mine, I practically lose all control over it.
    With the increased concern about online privacy and all that we learned in class, I think I am getting a bit internet-phobic, and more conscious about using any online service.

    Also the other day my roommate needed people to complete a questionnaire for her team project. She sent me the link and it asked me to log in with my Facebook account. Then I became a bit reluctant. Yet I still did it. Afterwards, my roommate (and probably her team) could see the result, and she somehow was willing to let me see the result, and I saw that survey was not anonymous. Every comment or answer was clearly linked to someone’s Facebook profile. It really bothered me.

  2. Certain smart phones apps, mainly the free ones, are so obvious with their ads that they don’t allow you to use them until you click on the add which takes you to a different page. Examples of these pages are facebook, twitter, intagram, linkedin, and orkut. The pattern here is that they always try to gather your personal information. That’s why 26% of apps can access your personal data, this number doesn’t shock me at all and if people start paying attention to details they will realize how vulnerable they can be sometimes when downloading an app. The problem here is similar to social networking sites. Users too often decide not to read the terms and conditions of a product and most don’t care too much about it until something harmful happens to them. Then, they feel they have the right to complain.

  3. The level of security on the Android based smartphone has been causing issue on security problem and identity problems. Android did not support having their application downloaded from the market, but user can download anywhere they want and install to their smartphone. on the other hand, Apple’s itune did not allow user to install the application unless it was through iTune App store (unless it is jailbroken). Some what security was proven by the Apple. However, some application did collect user data without people’s consent. First, the location service itself causing the security, privacy problem of the smartphone user. I’ve read some article about Facebook storing the GPS data, despite user’s consent, to collect user data. Also from the GPS data collected, Facebook can narrow down where is the user’s house and most place they’ve visited from the coordination from the GPS. This is not acceptable in terms of big companies collecting data from the users. Also, unconsented data collection should be protected by some kind of law (other than terrorism related like Patriot Act), to protect user’s privacy.

  4. With more and more smart phone appear, people cannot get rid of those anymore. With a high amount of people who are using either iPhone or Android phones, the security issues raised. And the privacy protected seemed extremely important. However, just like the article mentioned more than 25% of the Android apps contain privacy related problems. Moreover, Android users may not realize at all. Those apps can collect user data from the phones. For example, the GPS app always requires your current location in order to direct the routine for you. However, this contains the privacy issue because the app is collecting your current location which in some circumstances you do not want to let others know. Thus, it is necessary to have certain laws to protect people’s privacy in this situation.

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