Android apps found to have breached user privacy: study

About 12 per cent of 130,000 popular Android apps upload phone numbers to third parties

A breakdown of the types of data collected by Android apps. Pie chart supplied by Bitdefender.

A breakdown of the types of data collected by Android apps. Pie chart supplied by Bitdefender.

Android phone users have been warned to check app permissions after it was found that some popular apps upload mobile numbers to third-party entities without notification.

According to a new study by Bitdefender, 12.87 per cent of 130,000 free Android apps sent user phone numbers to third-party servers. The researchers found that Texas Poker by Kama Games and Paradise Island by Game Insight International accessed user data.

Location and personal email addresses were also distributed to third parties by 12.03 per cent and 7.72 per cent of the apps analysed. Approximately 6 per cent of apps accessed browsing history.

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Malware able to record phone conversations looming: Bitdefender

According to Bitdefender chief security strategist Catalin Cosoi, the line between third-party advertisers and malware is becoming more blurred.

“While malware may steal passwords and other credentials, aggressive advertisers may collect everything else,” he said. “Although violating user privacy raises serious concerns, the risk of having collected data used for malicious purposes is greater than most people imagine.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Tags securityAndroidmalwareprivacybitdefenderandroid apps

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