Android Security Survey

Is Your Android App Telling Advertisers Where You Live?

Jessica Thornsby

A study finds that 15 out of 30 third-party applications pass on users’ locations to remote advertising servers.

A study (pdf) conducted by Intel Labs and researchers at
Duke University has found that 15 out of 30 third-party
applications were passing on users’ data to remote advertising
servers.

Researchers used the TaintDroid taint tracking and analysis
system to leverage Android’s virtualised execution environment and
perform realtime analysis on the behaviour of 30 popular
third-party Android apps. They reported 63 instances of potential
misuse of users’ private information across 20 applications, and
found that 15 of the 30 applications reported users’ locations to
remote advertising servers.

“Our findings demonstrate the effectiveness and value of
enhancing smartphone platforms with monitoring tools such as
TaintDroid,” concluded the study.

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