Android Apps Ignore Permissions

Android Apps Ignore Permissions
Some Android apps collect and store location data despite users denying them permission to do so.

(CCM) — More than 1,000 Android apps skirt or ignore the limited permissions that they have been granted and instead gather location data and other information in direct contravention of users' express wishes, according to a Cnet report.

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute identified 1,325 Android apps that gather data or carry out other activities that their users had explicitly denied them permission to do.

"If app developers can just circumvent the system, then asking consumers for permission is relatively meaningless," Serge Egelman, an ICSI privacy research director, said in the report.

The apps are able to ignore Android permissions by using location data in photos or from Wi-Fi access point information.

One photo-editing app, Shutterfly, gathered GPS co-ordinates from users' photos and sent the data over the internet to the app developers' servers, despite users declining to give the app permission to access location data via their phones' GPS receivers.

Google says that it will close these permissions loopholes by hiding the location data in photos from apps, and by requiring apps that access Wi-FI to have permission for location data. But the fixes will not be available until the the next release of Android (Android Q) which is likely to launch later this year.

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