Nearly 35% of Android apps in China secretly steal user data; ‘Android is fragmenting beyond Google’s control,’ says analyst

“Earlier this week, the Data Center of China Internet (DCCI) released a report (h/t Tech In Asia) that showed nearly 35 percent of the Android apps it surveyed were secretly stealing user data unrelated to the app’s functionality,” Catherine Shu reports for TechCrunch.

“The DCCI, a research institute, looked at 1,400 apps downloaded from different app markets and found that 66.9 percent were tracking users’ private data, with 34.5 percent collecting information that had no connection to the app’s usage,” Shu reports. “The DCCI’s findings are yet more signs of how fragmented and chaotic China’s Android market is – and how little control Google has over it, despite the Chinese government’s concerns about its supposed dominance.”

Shu reports, “as analyst Shiv Putcha of Ovum puts it, ‘Android is fragmenting beyond Google’s control, and Google’s Android strategy is rapidly coming undone in China with no immediate prospects for correction.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Downunder” and “Sid” for the heads up.]

26 Comments

  1. No style, no class, no quality just pure crap.

    Andriod and Samsung phones, a perfect fragmented unsupported misfit product for those who wouldn’tknow yhe difference.

  2. Why the platform exists is for Google to get the personal data more easily , i cant see any problem as it is just the difference between big theft and small.

  3. This is really a massive story. It highlights a (or the) fundamental difference between Apple’s approach and the Google/Android/Samsung market. It highlights a big problem with the (perceived) “open” and “uncontrolled” way.
    Also interesting, Microsoft for the little that it is worth, also is trying an App store that is controlled/vetted for quality (ironic as that is). And I believe BB is too. These companies, although in shambles, also see the genius and necessity to of Apple’s approach.

  4. Google is a search and web services company… the more disorder and fragmentation on the handsets the more the web is cemented as the great unifier and search is cemented as the only way to find anything.

  5. Sign up for Google services and *you* agree that your activities can content can be used by Google to “further improve” their delivery of services to you. But when *I* send you an email to your Gmail account, Google scans it… I did not agree to that. If you think that is splitting hairs, or of little concern, how will *you* feel when someone who has agreed to Google Glass usage terms enters your domain and begins sending all that imagery of *your* private world back to Google?

  6. I wouldn’t want to run any phone in China.

    I don’t have a problem with other companies chopping up android and using it as they see fit. I’m not shocked that software in China would grab your personal data either.

    If google didn’t want to see Android forked they shouldn’t have built an Open Source Operating System imho.

      1. Phony app for iPhone! Bwahaha!

        But I had the same experience, a bait-and-switch Chinese app called ‘Alarm Clock Pro’ (recently replaced with a legitimate app of the same name). The developers hoodwinked Apple and made the thing update to an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT app! Incomprehensible. I turned them in. The usual dumdum staff at the iOS Store balked. But a gathering collective of squeaky wheels eventually inspired Apple to kick the company out of the iOS Store entirely. Success achieved.

        IOW:
        China: Criminal Nation
        Apple: Never perfect, just better than everyone else.

  7. This collection of personal data is likely state controlled or mandated. China has taken to cyber snooping in a big way and have been shown to have a state program to spy on the world through the internet. Agents of the state no longer need personal covers or documents to ‘travel’ the world to spy.

    1. The history of China’s cyber snooping goes back to 1997. In 1998, the year China was granted US ‘most favored nation’ status, it was formally coagulated into ‘The Red Hacker Alliance’ which was partially funded by the Chinese ‘government’. Circa 2007, when the US feds found that ALL their Windows computers exposed to the Internet had been BOTTED by China, with ALL their data being sent directly to China, The Red Hacker Alliance fell off the radar entirely. It was assumed they were formally absorbed into the Chinese ‘government’. Last month that was verified as fact when their central hub building was located.

      Here is a great site about their early history:

      http://www.thedarkvisitor.com/2007/11/evolution-of-the-red-hacker-alliance/

  8. Drone phones…

    China and North Korea should prefer Android phones to iPhone given this fact. They can use this to track down all Android users from saying bad things about their country. Of course of course the shameless Samsung backed South Korea will also prefer Android phones to iPhone, for their slavish copying genetic reason.

    These all will be translated to even greater market shares. Wow. Very revolutionary.

    1. “Enforcing a policy that is stated in the terms of service for Android developers, Google has pulled advertising blocking apps AdAway, Ad Blocker, AdBlock Plus, and AdFree from their Play market. All four were held in violation of a paragraph in the distribution agreement noting that developers are not allowed to interfere with “properties or services” of any third party, including, but not limited to Google or any other mobile network operator.

      Read more: http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/03/14/adblockers.violate.section.44.of.developer.agreement/#ixzz2Ncwq4LOi

  9. google just doesnt know how to be an os company yet. android was a start but they cant expect to compete with a company like apple whos os has been honed to perfection…maybe 20 years from now they will have a strong and secure platform that may even catch my attention but right now its a no go….if i was google i would stop giving out android for free and only implement it into google hardware or at least charge for android so they can hoard some cash and dump it all into r & d

    1. Android was NOT created at Google. It was PURCHASED by Google and continued development at Google with of course the assistance of Eric T. Mole, who brought lots of pilfered Apple goodies with him.

      And no folks. Android is NOT actually ‘open source’. It is STRICTLY controlled by ONLY GOOGLE. What the public is allowed to see and use of Android is what Google allows. So please, don’t ever call Android ‘open’. Strictly speaking, it is not. IOW: Blame GOOGLE, not the open source community.

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