Over 1,000 Android Apps Scrape User Data Without Permission

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) have published new findings after they explored the different ways Android apps harvest personal data without user permission. 

They downloaded more than 80,000 apps from the US Google Play Store and found 1,325 of them were storing specific private information.

Google and the Federal Trade Commission were informed of the study’s findings, and the researchers were awarded a ‘bug bounty’ for uncovering the flaw. However, Google admitted that safety updates would only be implemented with the release of Android Q, which is due to come in August.

The ICSI said a variety of popular apps from every category were tested, but they did not disclose which ones were scraping data.

They also revealed that thousands more apps had the capability to access user data, but there was no evidence to suggest that the loopholes were being exploited.

A new Facebook product was announced last month that would pay users to let the social media giant monitor their activity on rival apps. The ‘market research program’ is only available on Android because Apple doesn’t allow the collection of data for marketing or analytical purposes.

ProPrivacy.com recently surveyed 500 users of Match Group brands and found that 61% were concerned about data sharing policies.

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