With the number of apps that most people have installed on their phones, privacy can be a very pressing matter. Many do, after all, want to know a fair bit about you. This includes information such as your location, search habits, social media etc. If you think, however, that simply disabling this via your privacy setting is enough then it seems that Android users may need to rethink that position.
Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute found that 1,325 apps available on the Google Play Store would still actively monitor your data. Even when you had specifically told them not to.
While the exact method is unclear, it was found that many used clever tricks to essentially circumvent the permissions generically offered via the platform. They’re not breaking the rules specifically. They are, however, bending them.
“Fundamentally, consumers have very few tools and cues that they can use to reasonably control their privacy and make decisions about it. If app developers can just circumvent the system, then asking consumers for permission is relatively meaningless.”
The researchers reviewed nearly all of the 88,000 apps currently available on the platform. While 1,325 may not represent a massive amount, it’s still enough to cause some concern. While Google has acknowledged the issue, it would appear that they’re not prepared to hotfix it at the moment. They will, instead, look to correct it when their latest Android Q update is released later this year.
It does, however, again highlight the need for some vigilance. Specifically, to exactly what apps you have installed on your Android devices. You have to ask yourself if you really need them to the point of taking this potential risk. Now… excuse me while I go and prune my phone a little.
What do you think? Do you own an Android device? How many apps do you have installed on your smartphone or tablet? Do you have concerns on your privacy while online? – Let us know in the comments!
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