Free Apps May Siphon Off Personal Data, Says Study
There’s a hidden cost to some of those free apps in the Google Play store.
TechHive reports that an 18-month study by Juniper Networks of 1.7 million applications available from Google Play found that free apps were 314 percent more likely to access a user’s address book and 401 percent more likely to trace a user’s location than were paid apps.
Numerous apps obtain permissions and gather information from a user’s handset that is not required for the software to function, writes TechHive. Additionally, with Internet access, these apps can easily and sneakily transfer information elsewhere.
With the capability of sending SMS messages, these apps may also help cybercriminals by secretly sending text messages to premium services that will increase the consumer’s phone bill, according to the study.
Apps from racing games are among the worst in siphoning off personal information, reports TechHive.