Friday, December 31, 2010

iPhone Apps May be Spying on You [Warning]

What would you feel when you discover that some apps running on you iPhone which know your contact information, current location and etc, could be spying on you? here's what Wall Street Journal said regarding this.

An examination of 101 popular smartphone “apps”—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone’s unique device ID to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone’s location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.

Of course, it may be useful in some cases, such as Google's web search, Gmail and mobile AdMob which give us ads related to our interests. But in fact, I can't trust the unknown developers behind the free or cheap apps at all, what they gonna do with your private information ?
Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone’s unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone’s zip code, along with the user’s age and gender, to two of them.
In the above figure, you can see an app like Panadore which transmits lots of demographoic information while Apple claims they police the apps and make sure they fall within proper guidelines. Of course there's a permision before sharing your location, but there's no permision to share you iPhone UDID (unique identifier) which considers as a fingerprint or "super cookie" which allows the unknowns to track your activities.

WSJ has reported that Angry Birds, sends both UDID and location data back to its developer (who says, they don’t use it to advertise and don’t share it with anyone else) so what they are doning with such database. Any way, personally I trust those giants like Apple, Google and etc., but don't trust every little developer who has the same access to my device, what about you?

1 comment :

  1. Maybe we need Superantispyware for our phones!