One in five android apps access users’ private data

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“As many as 20% of applications on Android Market let third parties access private or sensitive information, according to a report from security vendor SMobile Systems,” Mikael Ricknäs reports for IDG News Service.

“In addition, some 5% of Android apps can be used to place a call to any number, and 2% of applications can send an SMS to an unknown premium number, in both cases without user involvement,” Ricknäs reports.

Full article here.

Elinor Mills reports for CNET, “Dozens of apps were found to have the same type of access to sensitive information as known spyware does, including access to the content of e-mails and text messages, phone call information, and device location, said Dan Hoffman, chief technology officer at SMobile Systems.”

Mills reports, “For those who want to download apps without having to worry there is antispyware software from SMobile Systems and others. ‘There are known spyware apps that are on the market,’ Hoffman said. ‘It’s a growing problem.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google. The new Microsoft – in more ways than just poorly copying Apple.


  1. I am surprised what the Android SDK allows you to do; I didn’t think I could access a lot of the data I can get to. I haven’t tried this, but I think you can open any other app’s SQLite DB. I could be wrong, but Android allows you to go wherever in the file system. This could be debatable though; you have read access to almost everything on a desktop computer. Of course, a desktop app that accesses private data and sends it off without permission is called a virus or spyware…

  2. I like the fact that Apple is so secretive, and I hope, and trust, that that attitude spills over into protecting my privacy even at the expense of some services and conveniences.

  3. I am really amazed how similar Google’s Android strategy is to Microsoft Windows. Though Windows dominates the consumer market, they are undoubtedly not the best Computer OS system for a user to experience. I don’t know if Android will come to dominate the mobile market but if it does, it might turn out to be like Windows with its mess of malware, various skin versions of Android etc. Yuck. Google could have chosen another strategy and yet chose to use a Microsoft strategy. Yuck!

  4. But, but, but it’s open source-the community takes care of all bugs, security holes! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Open Source: Great for security.

    However, when the apps are NOT Open Source, which IS the case with Android apps, AND you don’t have any kind of oversight, which IS the case with Android apps, you get WHATEVER.

    What Google does is wait for victims of CRAPWARE and MALWARE to complain to Google about the damage done. THEN Google investigate and possibly yank the app.

    Me = NOT interested.
    Android kids: Have fun with your rat’s nest.

  6. ‘JoeKnows’ sez: “I have the same concerns about the apps on my iPhone. After all most of the Android apps are available as iPhone apps as well.”

    Actually, those are the apps you want. They have gone through Apple’s oversight process. They will NOT be malware. They will NOT be blatant crapware. (Well, except for the fact that they have had to be recoded for Android).

    It’s the stuff that has not had any oversight that you need to worry about. IOW: Thank you Apple. Bite me Google.

  7. Interesting they mention that just because an app comes from a known source like the android store or “Apples App store” doesn’t mean the app can be trusted. Oddly enough I don’t see anywhere in the article that any iOS apps were found to have spyware.

  8. This is the biggest problem with Android. Apple is a little too control happy. But with Google everything is a go. Too much control can be a bad thing. Too little control is just as bad if not worse. I can download anything from the Apple store and not think twice about it.

  9. The Open Source community is trying to provide the User with the freedom to do whatever they want … a Good Thing. Unfortunately, this means they have to allow the Bad Guys the ability to do whatever they want … a BAD Thing.
    This is like the BP-apologists blaming the Gulf Spill on the pathetic government oversight and recommending NO oversight as a “fix”.

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