For many Android users, they try to set permissions on their apps so that it shows how much data a device is giving up. If you don’t want your flashlight app to read through your calls, you should be able to deny access. But even when you say no, some apps still figure out how to do it. There are more than 1000 apps around here that are skirting restrictions, allowing you to have your geolocation data and phone identifiers behind your back.
The discovery highlights how difficult it is to stay private online, especially on phones and mobile apps. Tech companies have mountains of personal data of many people, including what they like, and where they’ve been.
Lawmakers are trying to reel this in with privacy regulation, and app permissions are supposed to control what data you give up. Apple and Goole have released new features to improve privacy, but there are still ways to get around these protections.
Researchers from the international computer science institute has found that up to 1325 apps on android were gathering data from other devices, and even people explicitly denied these permissions. This is an interesting study, and consumers have very little tools and cues that they can use to control their privacy. Google has been notified of these issues, and they said it would address the issues in Android Q, which is supposed to hide the location information on the photos from apps that you haven’t given permission to, and requiring any apps that do have access to wifi to have permission on the location data.
This is 1325 out of 88000 apps, which is a little bit, but still, worth mentioning especially since there are workarounds in the codes that are there to get this information. Shutterfly, which is a photo-editing app, actually gathers the coordinates in the GPS, in order to send data to the servers, and users that are declining the permissions still are having their information compromised.
The reason they do this is that it’s supposed to enhance the user experience, but ti definitely is compromising your data. Some also rely on other apps to piggyback off of this. Some of them use unprotected files on the SD card itself to harvest the data that’s there. There are only about 13 apps doing this though, but, the Hong Kong Disneyland park app is doing this.
There are 153 apps currently that have the capability, including the browser and health apps, which are installed on phones.
So far, there isn’t a full list being made, but there is supposed to be a list of everything that’s happening, and which apps are best for you to keep your information off of, or even off your phone.
The world of data is becoming more transparent every day, so it’s imperative to make sure that you take the time to ensure that you have the best photos and video protection possible, and to protect your information.