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."
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.