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Is Your App Keeping Tabs On You? – 10 Surprising Apps That Track You

Sunday, January 27th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Android, Smartphones
 
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 You would expect an app like Google Maps to pinpoint your location, but why do the Angry Birds need to know where you are? Many popular Android apps also track your location, check your device ID and even access the contacts on your phone.  Popular music app Pandora Internet Radio, Dictionary.com and Angry Birds are among the apps gathering this information.

This information is then shared with marketers and other groups that are willing to pay for information.  For example, a study found that Angry Birds shares your sensitive information with six mobile ad companies and three research companies.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University put together a list of some of the worst offenders and what type of information they access.

Brightest Flashlight (device ID, location)

Toss It (device, ID, location)

Angry Birds (device, ID, location)

Talking Tom (device, ID)

Backgrounds HD Wallpapers (device, ID, contacts)

Dictionary.com (device ID, location)

Mouse Trap (device ID)

Horoscope (device ID, location)

Shazam (device, ID, location

Pandora Internet Radio (device ID, location)

In a sense, your personal information is how you pay for “free” apps.  This snooping really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Google Play requires developers to spell out what kind of information they collect in the terms of service. The problem is that most people just don’t bother to read the fine print. So, if you’d prefer to keep private information completely private, read the terms carefully before you tap the accept button.

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4 Responses to “Is Your App Keeping Tabs On You? – 10 Surprising Apps That Track You”

  1. rr says:

    Does the paid version do the same thing?
    How do you prevent them from doing this? Just not use the app…or do you have a choice?
    How about this site…How safe is it?

  2. lawrence says:

    ok. knowing is half the battle…. now how can one combat a device that makes say angry birds a included app and if getting the device rooted , that may/shall terminate your warranty, or cause the device to not operate properly. Why is it that a customer isforced to agree to terms that they really do not want to accept but there are not any other ways of get a particular, much less that fact that one does not agree with some diastant company being able to modify my device and interllectual property with out my agreement…. I have many dislikes and no other avenue to have products that do not take without my arm being twisted.

  3. [...] are apps that track the user’s location. We told you about the top 10 worst apps for tracking you in this article. Now the government wants some changes. A new report suggests that mobile platforms give complete [...]

  4. c Thompson says:

    Watch out for identity FRAUD if you have iPhone and use iTunes to back it up…go to Apple iTunes Store to the community forum and see why! We had iPhone that was damaged and it was sent in to exchange for new unit…lo and behold our c.c . statement had $1000 or more in iTunes Apple Store purchases we did not make…hundreds of people also have this happen or worse payPal acct is wiped out..it is tied to the phones synced with iTunes…of course ‘no comment’ coming from Apple about this security problem. So BE CAREFUL! Once these scammers get your basic location & info they go ahead and hack your password or pretend to be you when initiating iTune account after that they just authorize the purchases on your cards..NIGHTMARE! It has been happening since Fall 2011, and yet nothing being said by Apple.

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