Android Apps Expose Personal Data

Many of the top free android applications are exposing user data to advertisers - this includes contacts, location and even private calendar information.

This was revealed in a report by Channel 4 News, published on its blog. Security firm MWR InfoSecurity handled the research, with the report showing that the main culprit apps were SoundHound Free by SoundHound Inc; Talking Tom 2 free, Talking Tom and Talkingpierre by outfit7; Fruit Ninja by Halfbrick; and Cartoon Camera by Fingersof.

"We found that a lot of the free applications in the top 50 apps list are using advertising inside the applications, and that the permission that you grant to these applications is also granted to the advertiser," a representative of MWR InfoSecurity told Channel 4 News. "If users knew about this, I think they would be concerned about it. But at the moment I don't think they are aware of the situation and how widely their information can be used."

As part of the report, Channel 4 got in touch with vice president of the European Commission, Viviane Reding. She said that it was clear there needed to be a tightening of legislation in the area of mobile data scrubbing, as often times - whether they've agreed to a privacy policy or not - users of applications and games simply aren't aware of how much of their private information the app has access too.

Often, it can be something as simple as browsing habits, but when location data, perhaps even personal text messages begin to be scrounged for sellable data, then it gets a bit more invasive.