Login

Register

Login

Register

Home Mobile Cell Phones Thousands of Android Apps Will Track Your Phone, Regardless of Permissions Settings

Thousands of Android Apps Will Track Your Phone, Regardless of Permissions Settings

Even when you explicitly deny permissions to an Android app to track your phone, some might still be able to do it. Researchers found out that thousands of Apps have ways to cheat Android’s permissions system, collecting not only your device’s unique identifier, but also data to potentially reveal your location.

Even when configuring the permissions settings for an App, a second app that has those permissions approved can share personal bits of data with the first one or leave them in a shared folder that other Apps – potentially even malicious ones – can read. Researchers also found out that if both Apps were built using the same software development kits (SDK), they would be able to access the same data, and there’s even evidence that the SDK owners are receiving it. Despite two Apps not looking related, your personal data can go just about anywhere.

A study presented at PrivacyCon 2019 showed that Apps from companies like Samsung and Disney have been downloaded hundreds of millions of times. These Apps use SDKs built by Chinese multinational technology company Baidu and an analytics firm called Salmonads, and after storing your personal data locally on your phone, that data can pass from one app to another. Lastly, it’s important to note that researchers noticed that some Apps using the Baidu SDK might quietly obtain that same data for their own use.

Additionally, the team found other side channel vulnerabilities, such as sending home the unique MAC addresses of your networking chip and router, wireless access point, its SSID, and even more. Research Director of the Usable Security and Privacy Group at ICSI (International Computer Science Institute) Serge Egelman said “It’s pretty well-known now that’s a pretty good surrogate for location data,” while presenting the study at PrivacyCon 2019. The study revealed that by harvesting personal data from your photos’ EXIF metadata photo app Shutterfly sends actual GPS coordinates back to its servers without permission to track locations. Dishonestly, the company denied gathering any data without permission.

After notifying Google about the vulnerabilities last September, researchers said that there will be upcoming fixes for some of these issues in Android Q. But this won’t help the current-generation Android phones that won’t get the Android Q update. According to statistics, since May only 10.4 percent of Android devices had the latest Android P installed, and over 60 percent were still running on Android N, which is nearly three years old.

The researchers hope that Google has a bigger plan, like releasing hotfixes within security updates, since personal data protection shouldn’t be available for newer phone buyers only. Egelman shared his thoughts on the subject, saying “Google is publicly claiming that privacy should not be a luxury good, but that very well appears to be what’s happening here.”

Google didn’t comment about the specific vulnerabilities, but the company confirmed that Android Q will hide geolocation info from photo Apps by default. The company also assured that it will now require photo Apps to reveal to the Play Store if they’re capable of accessing location metadata.

Must Read

3 Crucial Tips for Buying Electronic Gadgets & Accessories Online

Buying electronic gadgets online can save you quite a bit of money. Here are 3 great tips that''ll guide you when shopping for electronic accessories online.

Noshinku Bergamot – Pocket Hand Sanitizer Gel Sprayer

The Noshinku Bergamot is a portable pocket hand sanitizer gel sprayer that contains an organic and safe-to-use hand sanitizer blend made of an oil mix of Bergamot, Jojoba, Argan, Rosehip and Coconut. While this sprayable hand sanitizer gel mix is ultra-effective and capable of killing up to 99.9% of germs that you can potentially come in contact with, its natural oils and botanical ingredients give it a really nice "fruity" aroma that’s super pleasant to smell, have both a Citrus, woody, and herbaceous fragrant smell.

Okaysou AirMax8L – Multi-Use Medical Grade H13 True HEPA Air Purifier

The Okaysou AirMax8L is a high-quality and multi-use medical-grade H13 True HEPA Air Purifier that's equipped with a unique filtration mechanism that can accurately trap all air pollutants, including pollen, odor, dust, pet dander, VOCs, and mold. The Okaysou AirMax8L Air Purifier is perfect to keep the air within your home fresh and clean, and thus, enhance your family's comfort while also ensuring that they life a happy and healthy life. It's the perfect air purifier unit for small- to medium-sized rooms like kitchens, kids rooms, and/or offices.

5 College Gadgets You Don’t Really Need for College

College accommodates diverse people across the socioeconomic spectrum. Some students can cater to their tuition and upkeep without any hustle, while some have to take part-time jobs to make ends meet. For such students, having a way to cut down on expenses is certainly a big deal. We will be looking at 5 college gadgets that students think they need, but they really don't. 

Cielo Breez Plus Smart AC Controller – Compatible with Samsung SmartThings

The Cielo Breez Plus is a plug-and-play Wi-Fi-Enabled Smart AC Controller that's ideal for all types of air conditioners systems that work with a remote control. Thanks to its wide compatibility, you can turn pretty much any type of air conditioner system into a Smart AC unit. At the same time, its built-in sensors allow you to easily and conveniently manage and monitor the temperature and humidity of your room, while the local touch controls under the device's built-in display screen let you control both your AC unit's fan speed and operating. Additionally, by using the Cielo Home App users can fully customize their Smart Air Conditioning experience.

Check Out Gagetguy On Indystyle

Check Out Gagetguy On PetPals TV