Over 1,000 Android apps can collect your data without permission

Every app asks for your permission to access your phone’s data while installing. Because they need some data to perform. Mostly you allow you to access the data such as your contacts, photos, etc. On the other hand, if the app is new or you don’t trust it very much, then you probably refuse to access some of your data. When you don’t allow them to get the data or a portion of it, then you obviously expect that they won’t be accessible to it. But it’s revealed that it’s not completely true. According to a report, more than 1,000 apps have been found, even if you don’t allow them, the apps can still collect data without permission. This means that they’ve found ways to circumvent the restrictions. Besides, they may be collecting your data without your knowledge.

Over 1325 Android apps are found collecting your data without permission

One of the studies, that was published on the FTC website, indicates that out of 88,000 apps, there’re 1,325 apps, which have collected information such as geolocation data and phone identifiers. Shocking, even when you didn’t allow them to do this. There’re some popular apps on the list, one of them is the Shutterfly app. Even Baidu was collecting data through its mapping service. It probably means that the Hong Kong Disneyland app using Baidu’s mapping service is also collecting data without your grant. The point of concern here’s that some other apps like Samsung Health and Samsung Browser app also use Baidu back-end. In addition, other Baidu apps may have collected or read that data without permission.

However, Shutterfly has denied any wrongdoing. An app spokesperson said that the company collects location data with permission only.

In a statement to CNET, the company said, “Like many photo services, Shutterfly uses this data to enhance the user experience with features such as categorization and personalized product suggestions.” Further in the statement, “all in accordance with Shutterfly’s privacy policy as well as the Android developer agreement.”

Apps also use more unacceptable methods to collect data. Some apps were found to rely on data from another app, which has been allowed to access personal data. They’re piggybacking off to collect your phone identifiers like IMEI numbers. These applications will read your unprotected files on the SD card and take data without permission.

Researchers said that there were only 13 apps to do this, which have been installed more than 17 million times. These include apps like Baidu’s Hong Kong Disneyland Park app.

 

What is the action?

After knowing about shocking facts through studies, what can be done to prevent these apps to collect data without permission? A user should have full control over their personal data and information. For this, researchers have written in the report that they have informed Google about this issue, and Google has assured that it’ll fix them in the latest Android Q, which is going to be released this year.

But what will happen to millions of phones, which won’t have Android Q? They can’t be left blurred in the case. Google should also upgrade their current OS so that users can have better control over apps and their access.

 

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Mayank G.

Mayank is a tech enthusiast, has been writing blog articles about technologies for two years. He covers topics including emerging technology, mobile technology and trends, AI, IoT, 5G and latest gadgets.

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