Microsoft is sneaking adverts into its Android apps

Over 1k Android apps harvest your data even if denied permission – study

Unfortunately, it seems the company could also do a lot better when it comes to just, you know, actually protecting that privacy.

Particularly egregious, according to the researchers, is the fact that if you deny one of the apps permission to obtain data that could potentially identify you, another app that you did give permission to could share the data with the other app. This discovery comes from a consortium of researchers (under the auspice of the non-profit International Computer Science Institute) who have put together a white paper tiled "50 Ways to LeakYour Data: "An Exploration of Apps' Circumvention of the Android Permissions System".

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While the researchers first presented the study at the FTC PrivacyCon last month, there now isn't a full list of the offending apps. It's like a kid asking for dessert which gets informed "no" by one parent so that they ask the other parent. According to the researchers, this kind of thing is possible when apps have been built with the same SDKs. In a statement to CNET, Shutterfly said regardless of what the researchers found it only collects Global Positioning System data on those that give it permission. If this happens, sharing something on Android would really become a pain in the neck, as quickly finding a specific app would be much harder. The two apps won't appear related. Apps that access WiFi will require to have permission for location data. For example, third-party libraries from Chinese companies Baidu and Salmonads use the SD card to store sensitive information that can then get passed to apps that shouldn't technically have access to it. Mind you, there are 153 such apps that are installed on over 500 million devices. "We found 159 apps with the potential to exploit this covert channel and empirically found 13 apps doing so". Google responded that it will focus on these issues in Android Q, which is expected to release this year. Even though you had denied Shutterfly to access your location data, it was collection location data through photos. There are some pretty popular apps on the list, too - including the Shutterfly app. Baidu was also collecting data through its mapping service - meaning that apps like the Hong Kong Disneyland app, which use Baidu's mapping service, have been collecting data without permission.

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