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    Wall Street Journal: Google Disables Android Apps Caught Collecting Personal Data

    The Wall Street Journal reports that some applications in Google’s Android App Store collected personal data about users:

    Some wallpaper applications sold through Google’s Android store did more than give phones a pretty background.

    According to a study presented at a hacker conference this week by security firm Lookout, more than 80 such apps were found to be collecting phone numbers and other personal information, including the IMSI number that identifies a cellphone subscriber. The apps also transmitted sensitive data unencrypted to a server.

    Google said it has suspended the application while it investigates further.

    The wallpaper apps—all made by a developer named “jackeey,wallpaperr”—notified users that the app would have access to “phone state and identity.” But John Hering, Lookout’s CEO, said most users don’t pay enough attention to such notices.

    The discovery highlights the growing threats to privacy posed by the explosion of wireless apps, as well as the different privacy models of wireless app store providers such as Google and Apple. […]

    Since Lookout exposed the applications, the developer has changed his name. The publisher of the wallpaper apps is now listed as “callmejack” and “IceskYsl@1sters!”

    One Response to “Wall Street Journal: Google Disables Android Apps Caught Collecting Personal Data”

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