Popular Android apps share personal data without restriction

SecurityIn today’s technological world, we interact much of our day with connected mobile devices, starting with smartphones, tablets, and wearables. This involves massive sharing of our personal data. Personal data is one of the most powerful currencies today. Many companies are interested in the personal data of users. Indeed, the analysis of personal data can generate significant income, as occurs for example from the profiling of our habits and interests. Incogni, a company that deals with the removal of personal data from data brokers, has produced an interesting analysis of data collected and shared by major Android apps, officially available on the Play Store. The results should alarm us and make us more aware.

So let’s see what the main results of the in-depth analysis conducted by Incogni are:

– One out of two applications (55.2%) shares personal data with third-party applications.
– Free apps share on average 7 times more data points than paid apps.
– The most popular apps, with more than 500,000 downloads, share on average 6.15 times more data points than less popular apps.
– The worst category in terms of data sharing is “shopping”, where apps share an average of 5.72 data points.
– Social media collects the highest number of data points (19.18 on average).
– 13.4% of apps share your location with third parties.

Some of the most shared data includes interaction with other apps (22.15%), crash logs (20.15%), diagnostics (20%), and device location (16%). .5% ).

Incogni explained that Google has introduced a new data security section in the Play Store. However, it is not complete in terms of information for users. Indeed, Google promises to specify when the application in question involves the transfer of data to third parties but does not specify whether this transfer takes place to another server, to another application or from a webview open on another application. Another negative note that recently appeared on the Play Store was the removal of the permissions section required by apps for proper functioning. The section provided an overview of the permissions required by the specific app. Google removed this section but, following user complaints, promised to reintroduce it.

For more details on the study conducted by Incogni, please refer to the full report, you can find it at this address: https://blog.incogni.com/sharing-is-not-caring/