Feeds

Rogue Android apps rack up hidden charges

Turns on, tunes in, you pay

High performance access to file storage

Applications installed on an Android handset are capable of automatically switching on data connectivity, and roaming, so their owners run up huge data charges.

Several US users have complained of unexpected data charges being run up on their G1 handsets, and Engadget reports that T-Mobile has put out a statement clarifying that applications do have the ability to switch on roaming without informing the user - with the caveat that the user should have been informed of this capability when they downloaded the application.

Of course, not every user reads the small print when downloading applications. They particularly don't read the fine print when those applications come from a marketplace that doesn't have any ability to charge for downloads, as the lack of billing encourages risk-free testing of software. With data-roaming rates still unacceptably high, though, it seems there is a significant risk attached to such applications.

Conversely: many great applications benefit from being able to make their own data connections, and bothering the user each time would ruin their utility. What's needed is something akin to the setting familiar to MMS users - auto-connect when on the home network, otherwise connect on demand.

Given the problem lies in the Android platform it should equally affect UK G1 users traveling abroad, but T-Mobile UK is checking on that for us and we'll update you when we hear from them.

Always-on connectivity is really useful for widgets and other Web 2.0 paraphernalia, but it won't take too many surprise bills for users to switch off the automatic connections - hugely reducing the capabilities of the platform. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.