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Are Android apps exposing user information?

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(Read caption) Android OS is open. But open is not necessarily the same as safe.

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Android is open. But is Android safe? Depends on whom you ask. A new paper – presented by a team of researchers at Duke University, Penn State University, and Intel Labs – has found that a goodly portion of Android applications share location and user information with advertisers. The study focused specifically on 30 popular Android apps; of those 30 apps, 15 apparently transmitted user data without first notifying the user.

"Android's coarse grained access control provides insufficient protection against third-party applications seeking to collect sensitive data," the research team noted. In a statement to the BBC, Google said that "Android has taken steps to inform users of this trust relationship and to limit the amount of trust a user must grant to any given application developer."

"We also provide developers with best practices about how to handle user data," Google reps added.


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