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More Than 25% of Android Apps Know Too Much About You 277

CowboyRobot writes "A pair of reports by Juniper and Bit9 confirm the suspicion that many apps are spying on users. '26 percent of Android apps in Google Play can access personal data, such as contacts and email, and 42 percent, GPS location data... 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... nearly 7 percent of free apps can access address books, 2.6 percent, can send text messages without the user knowing, 6.4 percent can make calls, and 5.5 percent have access to the device's camera.' The main issue seems to be with poor development practices. Only in a minority of cases is there malicious intent. The Juniper report and the Bit9 report are both available online."
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More Than 25% of Android Apps Know Too Much About You

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  • Re:If only! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @10:16AM (#41852629)

    If only there were some way to know what permissions the app really needed to do its job!

    If only you didn't have to slog through 15 different flashlight apps before you find one that doesn't want access to your address book!

  • Re:If only! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @10:27AM (#41852745)

    Disagree. It's a problem with humanity. Android does a good job of warning you that your flashlight app will send your contact list to the universe.

  • by Jartan ( 219704 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @10:43AM (#41852927)

    The way things are setup on stock android is a nightmare. The supposed "Walled Garden" doesn't even exist. Android doesn't have malware/viruses because "legit" apps can walk right in and do whatever they want. Want to steal all your users contacts and use them for spam? There's a built-in API for that.

    I was trying to download a widget for screen brightness and 99% of the free ones wanted internet access permissions. It was just absolutely atrocious.

    The only redeeming feature is how easy it is to root and fix.

  • Re:If only! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:20AM (#41853399)

    Here is vague.

    full Internet access: Allows the app to create network sockets.

    The main question I have is Why does it need internet access? And that is not answered.

  • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:25AM (#41853459)

    Lets have a little balance

    Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram all send email addresses and phone numbers to their local servers.

    All of these companies have both official iOS apps and official Android apps, and the ones I've used on Android have definitely accessed my contacts. In fact, Facebook made headlines by fucking up the email addresses in the address books of Android users recently.

    But yes, let's have a little balance by directing the blame for the actions of these particular companies solely at Apple.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982