Android Apps Using User Data "Suspiciously" Says Report

Data compiled by a team of computer experts from Intel Labs, Penn State and Duke University on a sample of 358 Android apps revealed that a significant minority of them do not clearly tell their users what data is being collected.

30 of the 358 apps were chosen because they were the most popular ones that ask for permission - when being installed - to collect location, data and audio parameters.

The experts used a specially designed application called TaintDroid that allowed them to track down exactly what each application was doing.

Worryingly, 15 out of the 30 sent geolocation data to advertisers without the users' knowledge, a potential breach of the terms and conditions of usage and seven send the handset's unique IMEI number or the phone's number to unknown servers.

In some cases, the data was sent at the rate of 120 updates per hour. The report produced by the researchers point to the act that Android "does not provide insufficient data against third party applications seeking to collect sensitive data."

The paper can be viewed here although we can't help but notice that Intel engineers have helped produced the document.

Intel is also working, together with Nokia, on Meego, a mobile operating system which will soon become a competitor to Android.