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More Than 1,000 Android Apps Gain Your Data Even if Denied Permission: Report

According to the report, Egelman would be presenting more detailed information about the research findings at the Usenix Security conference in August

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Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in the US identified 1,325 Android apps that were gathering data from devices even after people explicitly denied them permission, news portal CNET reported on Tuesday.

Serge Egelman, Director of Usable Security And Privacy research at the ICSI, presented the study at the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy conference.

He said the researchers had notified Google about these issues in September 2018, as well as the FTC.

One of the apps mentioned by name was Shutterfly, which is used for editing photos. It had been gathering GPS coordinates from photos and sending that data to its own servers.

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York. VOA

In a statement, Shutterfly said: “Like many photo services, Shutterfly uses this data to enhance the user experience with features such as categorization and personalized product suggestions, all in accordance with Shutterfly’s privacy policy as well as the Android developer agreement.”

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The study published on the FTC website cited 153 apps, including Samsung’s Health and Browser apps, which are installed in more than 500 million devices.

According to the report, Egelman would be presenting more detailed information about the research findings at the Usenix Security conference in August. (IANS)

Next Story

Would You Give Up Digital Life if Given Lifetime Data Protection?

Many prefer not to have certain facts about themselves revealed in public

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Several years ago, people shared their private information with social media services in exchange for various benefits, without even thinking about the potential threats. Pixabay

Would you give up your digital life if all your personal information – passwords, posts, pictures, videos, jokes, memes, GIFs etc – remain private for the rest of your life or given back to you, with no duplicate data saved in the Dark Web?

For four in 10 people (38 per cent), this is a steal deal as consumers’ personal information is becoming incredibly valuable to them, says a latest report from global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

Social media services like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter have become a significant part of our lives and according to Kaspersky’s report, 82 per cent of people now use them globally.

Several years ago, people shared their private information with social media services in exchange for various benefits, without even thinking about the potential threats and their consequences.

Digital, Life, Data
For four in 10 people (38 per cent), this is a steal deal as consumers’ personal information is becoming incredibly valuable. Pixabay

“With a rising number of data leaks around the world, we are seeing a new trend among consumers. Many prefer not to have certain facts about themselves revealed in public and are paying more attention to the information they share with online services,” says Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.

However, the majority still don’t know how to protect their digital privacy and would give up social media to guarantee their information remains secure.

The truth is: Your data is up for grabs everywhere – be it tech companies, advertisers or marketers.

After facing flak for using unethical and discreet ways of collecting user-information, Facebook has now decided to pay Android users in India and the US just to monitor how they use their phones.

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The social networking giant has launched a new app called Study which is available for download on Google’s Play Store for Android users aged 18 and above.

The app would not only monitor installed apps on a person’s phone but also observe the amount of time spent on those apps along with details like the users’ location and additional app data which could reveal other specific features being used.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Facebook was secretly paying users aged 13 to 35 up to $20 per month, plus referral fees, to install a “Facebook Research” Virtual Private Network (VPN) that was letting the company access user’s data.

According to Kaspersky’s report titled, “The true value of digital privacy: are consumers selling themselves short?”, fears surrounding protecting digital privacy have made consumers more anxious about the use and distribution of their personal information on the Internet.

Digital, Life, Data
Social media services like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter have become a significant part of our lives. Pixabay

However, despite these various benefits, some would still opt out of social media if it helped to restore their digital privacy forever.

One in 10 (12 per cent) people who give away their personal information to register for fun quizzes, such as what celebrity they look like or what their favourite meal is, would not be able to do so anymore.

It may be even more problematic, though, for 58 per cent people who would no longer be able to use their social login details to quickly and conveniently authorize themselves on different websites or services.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, at a time when the number of mobile phone users is rising 2 per cent year-on-year, one-in-five (19 per cent) would be ready to wave goodbye to their handsets altogether to guarantee their data remains private for the rest of their life.

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Unfortunately, even sacrificing your entire social media presence wouldn’t be sufficient to protect digital privacy an it’s a process, not a one-time deal that can be bargained for.

“Keeping personal information safe – by regularly updating social media account passwords and using security solutions – will give consumers more confidence in the security of their data online,” said Titova. (IANS)