More than one per cent of apps in Google Play Store are "aggressive" copies of legitimate apps, according to security firm Bitdefender. The copied apps have been modified in order to include more intrusive tracking, access to text message and call history, and users' social media accounts. The plagiarised apps, so-called "thief-ware", also contain different advertisement libraries to the originals, so profits are redirected to the app pirates.
"Other modifications add extra advertising modules to collect more data from the user than the initial developer planned," wrote Bitdefender's Loredana Botezatu in the report. The researchers analysed 420,646 apps available on the Play Store, and found that 5,077 of these contained code directly ripped from legitimate apps like Facebook and Twitter. That's a total 1.2 per cent of apps examined by the team.
The Samsung Galaxy Round smartphone and Galaxy Gear watch have failed to win over mass market interest, according to pallid sales figures from the first few months of the devices' release.
The duo were both meant to represent beacons of innovation in the race to develop revolutionary ergonomic technology. However, according to reports, the Galaxy Gear is only managing to squeeze out sales of between 800-900 units daily. Meanwhile, in the first four days following its release, the Galaxy Round only mustered enough interest to generate sales of around 100 units a day.
Google has agreed to pay $17 million (£10.5 million) in a multi-state deal to settle charges that it misrepresented how users of Apple's Safari browser were having their Internet activity tracked.
As part of the deal, Google has pledged not to override a browser's cookie-blocking settings without consent or misrepresent how consumers can use or manage Google's tracking tools. The search giant will also improve the information it provides to consumers about cookie tracking and delete cookies that were gathered during the time period that Google ignored Safari settings.