Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mobile apps spying on phone users

Do you like listening to Pandora? According to a a study conducted by Wallstreet Journal you better be prepared to offer some of your private details. The Pandora application on iPhone, according to the article, sends information about you to at least eight (8!) tracking services that gather information. This is not unusual according to the article. Most of the 101 apps tested showed evidence that they provide information ranging from a unique phone ID up to location information, age, Zip code and gender to tracking companies. The article also mentions that iPhone apps seem to be worse than their siblings on Google's Android platform.

Apple claims to review all applications before being allowed in the iPhone app store. This has caused a false sense of privacy with users. All of the apps reviewed by WSJ were available in Apple's app store.

Blackberry applications were not reviewed but the model RIM (maker of Blackberry) introduced in it's Blackberries a different security model. Access to certain information can be blocked. The user needs to deny the application the "trusted application" status and allow just access to individual information.

Read the WSJ article here: iPhone and Android Apps breach privacy

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