Apps are leaking private information
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 20 Dec 2010 at 12:53
Apps on iPhones and Android routinely access and share user information without permission, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper studied 101 apps across both platforms and found that more than half of them transmitted some form of information from the device without the user's knowledge or consent.
According to the research, 56 apps transmitted the handset's unique device number to third-party companies, 47 apps transmitted the phone's location, and five leaked age, gender and other personal details.
As an example, the report showed that US-based music site Pandora sent user information to eight tracking companies, with location data passed to seven of them, the unique phone identity to three, demographic data to two.
According to the newspaper, neither Apple nor Android required this basic level of protection as part of the rules to be included in the App Store or Android Market.
The state of affairs flies in the face of end-user expectations, with respondents to a reader survey saying they want notification before such firms pass on their data.
72% of respondents believed that apps should ask every time information was collected and sent, 20% thought an app should issue a warning on installation, while 7% were only concerned if the information was being sent to third parties.
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Please stop reposting fake Facebook messages
- Is Facebook safe for business?
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Facebook Graph Search: don't panic
- Gmail drafts and Pastebin: could they evade the email snoops?
- Applying for a job at GCHQ? Here's your plain-text password
- Google two-step verification: a must for business email
- Yes, I write down my passwords