Researchers creat Android app that tracks apps that track you

A team of researchers has developed an Android app to help people better understand when their location is being accessed, something that happens more often than people think. “All apps that access location need to request permission from the Android platform,” Janne Lindqvist, who led the research project, said via email. “The problem is that people don’t pay attention to these default disclosures.”

A new app notifies people when an Android smartphone app is tracking their location, something not previously possible without modifying the operating system on a device, a practice known as “rooting.” The new technology comes amid new revelations that the National Security Agency seeks to gather personal data from smartphone apps (see “How App Developers Leave the Door Open to NSA Surveillance”). But it may also help ordinary people better grasp the extent to which apps collect and share their personal information. Even games and dictionary apps routinely track location, as collected from a phone’s GPS or global positioning system sensors.

Read full article

Comments