Researchers at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) have found that at least 1,325 Android apps collect data from users, even when their permissions are not granted. ICSI members, who presented the results of the study at an audience with the US Congress, also reported that Google was warned of the issue in September 2018, but that a fix for the problem should only come with Android 10 ( Q), the new version of the operating system.
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Experts have detected Android apps that circumvent user permissions and compromise your privacy Photo: Bruno De Blasi / dnetc
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The study looked at over 88,000 Google Play Store apps to find out if they respect the permissions that the user defines as a way to prevent access to certain types of data.
The researchers found that these 1,325 infringing applications use hidden methods in their structure to collect location data from Wi-Fi networks, as well as information from so-called photo metadata: that data that accompanies every photo you take on your mobile phone. , such as date, place, time, etc.
Other apps simply use the permissions granted to other programs to intercept data like the mobile device's IMEI. Well-known tools like Baidu, Disneyland Park and Samsung Health have been spotted with the possibility of collecting this information.
New privacy and security options for Android 10 (Q) Photo: Divulgao / Google
According to the researchers, these applications can get the data even if their access permissions have been restricted by the user. This information is then directed to developers' servers on the Internet and may be commercially exploited.
According to Google, Android Q will implement fixes that should prevent applications from compromising user privacy. One feature allows you to configure your apps so that they don't have location information when they are in the background, but only when they are used by the user.
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