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Study: select Android apps sharing data without user notification

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by GoNe2heLL, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. GoNe2heLL

    GoNe2heLL Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Nov 30, 2009
    source/credit engadget.com (if i broke any rules etc feel free to delete this post)

    i got few of these apps on my X and will be deleted in the next five minutes

    Study: select Android apps sharing data without user notification -- Engadget

    Come one, come all -- let's gather and act shocked, shall we? It's no secret that Google's Android Market is far easier to penetrate than Apple's App Store, which is most definitely a double-edged sword. On one hand, you aren't stuck waiting a lifetime for Apple to approve a perfectly sound app; on the other, you may end up accidentally downloading some Nazi themes that scar you for life. A curious team of scientists from Intel Labs, Penn State and Duke University recently utilized a so-called TaintDroid extension in order to log and monitor the actions of 30 Android apps -- 30 that were picked from the 358 most popular. Their findings? That half of their sample (15, if you're rusty in the math department) shared location information and / or other unique identifiers (IMEI numbers, phone numbers, SIM numbers, etc.) with advertisers. Making matters worse, those 15 didn't actually inform end-users that data was being shared, and some of 'em beamed out information while applications were dormant. Unfortunately for us all, the researchers didn't bother to rat out the 15 evil apps mentioned here, so good luck resting easy knowing that your library of popular apps could be spying on you right now.

    Update: A Google spokesperson pinged up with an official response to the study, and you can peek it after the break.

    Update 2: Looks as if the full study (PDF) has been outed, with the 30 total apps named. Here they are: The Weather Channel, Cestos, Solitaire, Movies, Babble, Manga Browser, Bump, Wertago, Antivirus, ABC - Animals, Traffic Jam, Hearts, Blackjack, Horoscope, 3001 Wisdom Quotes Lite, Yellow Pages, Dastelefonbuch, Astrid, BBC News Live Stream, Ringtones, Layer, Knocking, Barcode Scanner, Coupons, Trapster, Spongebob Slide, ProBasketBall, MySpace, ixMAT, and Evernote. Thanks, Jordan!



  2. JubbaTheHutt

    JubbaTheHutt Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Bullshit. Sadly, I have a little under half of the apps listed. This is my biggest gripe with Android...I in no way want iTunes like restrictions, but I don't think it's totally out of the question to enforce certain things, especially when they concern a certain level of privacy...
  3. aohus

    aohus Well-Known Member

    Aug 27, 2010
    Letting people know that ATK's are bad
    privacy is dead.

    i just find it interesting that people start going apeshit over Patriot Act / privacy rules, yet nobody blinks an eye when posting personal information on facebook, like what your real name is, your photos, your friends, what you like, what you've been thinking about, etc.

    just putting things into perspective

    call me paranoid, but i've never been comfortable with Facebook's privacy rules. I stopped using it when they announced live feeds back in '06.

    A free open internet is slowly eroding sadly.
  4. srowen

    srowen Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Read the paper. Only half these apps are guilty. Annoying to not name names, especially if you are an author of one of the innocent ones. I am an author of Barcode Scanner, which does no such thing and I am not amused.
  5. SlvrScoobie

    SlvrScoobie Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Barcode scanner and the weather channel are the only ones from that list i use.
  6. bigbadwulff

    bigbadwulff Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Weather Channel? Imagine that! They suck anyway. They stopped being a weather chan nel like 10 years ago. Their biggest want is to bring you weather that has been and to push global warming hoax.
  7. sund0wn

    sund0wn Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    I work in an office. It has a window, but it isn't
    In a house, near some mountains.
    again, as srowen said, that is the list of the apps they studied, not a list of the guilty apps. TWC isnt necessarily one of the guilty parties.

    i would like to know which apps are on the guilty list, and i would like to know exactly what they're sharing, and who they're sharing it with. honestly, i am not all that concerned, but it's still interesting.

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