Google Android vs Apple iOS: The Mobile App Privacy War
New research from BitDefender shows that applications for Apple iOS and Google Android may have their digital eyes and hands on more user data than you think.
Using their Clueful app, researchers at BitDefender examined how apps for Android and Apple's iOS treated private data such as location information and contact lists. What they found may seem startling – of the 207,843 free applications for iOS, 45.41 percent have location-tracking capabilities, whether they used them or not. Of the 314,474 free applications for Android, the percentage was 34.55.
Some examples for iOS include Ringtone Maker version 1.7, which sends the device ID to "adfonic.net," and 'aradise Island: Exotic (v. 1.3.14), which sends the device ID to a number of third-party websites. Meanwhile, an Android app called Logo Quiz Car Choices (v. 126.96.36.199) shares email addresses, the researchers found.
Android security has been in the spotlight during the past few days, as vendor Bluebox Security announced plans to release details of a serious Android vulnerability exploit at the upcoming Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. According to Bluebox Security, the vulnerability involves discrepancies in how Android applications are cryptographically verified and installed, enabling a bad actor to modify APK code without breaking the cryptographic signature. The vulnerability only comes into play however in the case of applications downloaded from third-party app markets.