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Last Updated : Jul 09, 2019 12:44 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Over 1000 apps on the Play Store collect users' data without permission

1,325 of a total 88,000 apps tested gathered information regarding geolocation data and phone identifiers.

Carlsen Martin

A recent study reported over a thousand apps on Google’s Play Store access your data without permission. The study showed that certain apps access specific data even if a user denies permission to access that data.

According to an academic study that was published on the Federal Trade Commission or FTC available on its website, 1,325 of a total 88,000 apps tested gathered information regarding geolocation data and phone identifiers without permission.

Many apps that accessed data without permission weren’t strangers to Android devices. The study cited that Chinese company Baidu was collecting data without permission through other apps that utilised its mapping service, including apps like the Hongkong Disneyland park app.

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In a statement to CNET, Shutterfly denied any wrongdoing, stating; “Like many photo services, Shutterfly uses this data to enhance the user experience with features such as categorisation and personalised product suggestions, all in accordance with Shutterfly’s privacy policy as well as the Android developer agreement.”

The study published on the FTC website cited 153 apps, including Samsung’s Health and Browser apps, which collected certain data without permission.

The researchers who conducted the study alerted Google to the permission issue in September 2018. Google responded by announcing they would address many of the problems addressed. However, the search giant confirmed resolutions to the issues would only be available through an Android Q update, which is scheduled to release later this year.

But even after Android Q rolls out, several older smartphone users won’t have access to the update anytime soon, leaving their handsets vulnerable. Considering Android Q could take a year or more to roll out to all Android handsets, Google needs to upgrade the way permissions function.
First Published on Jul 9, 2019 12:44 pm
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