More than 1300 Android apps collect data without permission

Collecting data without permission

The International Computer Science Institute has announced the outcome of a research on data collection with Android apps. This shows that there are more than 1,300 apps that collect data from users without their permission. CNET reports that.

When installing a new app, it asks if it is allowed to access certain parts of your phone such as the camera to take photos, your location or your call list. It now appears that of the 88,000 apps examined, 1,325 apps collect information from the user even if they had not given permission for this.

The researchers monitored the way data was sent from the apps if they did not get certain permissions. The relevant apps have used detours in a code that collects personal data such as Wi-Fi connections and metadata in photos.

The researchers give the Shutterfly photo app as an example. This app saved the GPS coordinates of photos without the user’s permission to send them to their own servers. An app spokesperson denies this.

Samsung Health and Samsung Internet Browser are also in the line of apps that collect data without permission. Samsung has not yet responded to this.

Still other apps collected location data via the Wi-Fi network that the phone was connected to. Apps could access the router’s mac address via this network. The researchers came across this with apps such as smart remote controls.

The researchers informed Google of these problems in September last year. The American regulator FTC has also been informed. Google promises to make adjustments with the arrival of Android 10 Q.

In the first preview of this Android version we already saw that Google is working on a new system for permissions to make permissions temporary, for example only if the app is used. Furthermore, access is also limited to personal data of the user and the device he uses. For example, access to the IMEI number and serial number is limited and the MAC address becomes random when you are connected to WiFi.

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