Menu
Aggressive Advertisers Pose Privacy Risks

Aggressive Advertisers Pose Privacy Risks

Covert user profiling through popular apps

Ranking Android apps were found to be extremely curious while collecting and uploading location, email address, and user phone numbers to third-party servers, Bitdefender research has found.

A recent study of some 130,000 popular free Android apps revealed that aggressive advertisers breach user privacy by uploading phone numbers to third-party entities. Some 12.87 percent of analysed apps were found to collect and broadcast users’ phone numbers without explicit notification.

Location data and personal email addresses were also accessed and distributed to third parties by 12.03 percent and 7.72 percent, respectively, of analysed apps.

“The thin line between aggressive advertisers and malware is getting blurrier,” said Bitdefender chief security strategist Catalin Cosoi. “While malware may steal passwords and other credentials, aggressive advertisers may collect everything else. Although violating user privacy raises serious concerns, the risk of having collected data used for malicious purposes is greater than most people imagine.”

While some apps may legitimately require access to such data, others access it without the app explicitly needing it to perform adequately. Apps that access browsing history amount to 6.07 percent of the survey sample, while some apps even require access to photos.

Although some analysed apps have been updated to meet proper user privacy guidelines, previous versions of Texas Poker, by KamaGames, and Paradise Island, by Game Insight International, uploaded user phone numbers to third parties.

Android users are advised to exercise extreme caution when installing apps and to always check for what permissions they require. Installing a mobile security solution that can detect virulent adware is also recommended, as data privacy should be a top priority.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kick-start 2018. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018
Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Show Comments