Updated: August 18, 2018 6:46:25 pm
According to Symantec research, Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for iOS have a lot of apps that exposed users to privacy risks. There are certain apps for Android and iOS users that seek excessive permissions to access a user’s personal data. In the research, Symantec explained how personal information is gathered and how suspicious apps on Google Play Store are filled with excessive advertisements, putting a user’s privacy at risk.
As part of the research, Symantec downloaded top 100 free apps from Google Play Store and Apple App Store and examined what personal information was being obtained by the apps, in addition to features being accessed. Most of the personal information obtained by the apps pertained to users’ email address.
Symantec explained as many as 48 per cent of iOS and 44 per cent of Android apps in question were seeking access to users’ information including email addresses.
Beyond email addresses, the second most common information obtained by the apps is the surname. The report further explained that 33 per cent of fraudulent iOS apps and 30 per cent of analysed Android apps were seeking access to surnames. In terms of details pertaining to phone numbers, they were being shared with 12 per cent of iOS apps and 9 per cent of Android apps.
Last but not least, users’ address details were being shared with four per cent of iOS apps and 5 per cent of Android apps.
Shedding light on certain device features being accessed, Symantec further said in a blog post, “Camera access was the most requested common risky permission, with 46 per cent of Android apps and 25 per cent of iOS apps seeking it. That was closely followed by location tracking, which was sought by 45 per cent of Android apps and 25 per cent of iOS apps.”
25 per cent of Android and 9 per cent of iOS apps reportedly requested permission to record audio. 15 per cent of examined Android apps tried to access SMS while 10 per cent sought access to phone call logs. These permissions are not available for iOS.
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