It never ends: TV exposé tags new Android privacy howler
EC blasts Google personal data-sharing as ‘illegal’
The UK’s Channel 4 News has dropped a fresh load of privacy grief in Larry’s lap, with an expose into the way advertisers hitch-hike on apps’ permissions.
The Channel 4 piece has drawn a furious response from European Commission VP Viviane Reding, who has told the broadcaster: “this is against the law, because nobody has the right to get your personal data without you agreeing to this.”
Reding said people have “no idea” what’s happening to their data: “The are spotting you, they are following you, they are getting information about your friends, about your whereabouts, about your preferences. That is certainly not what you thought you bought into when you downloaded a free of charge app. That's exactly what we have to change."
What Channel 4 discovered, with the help of MWR Infosecurity, was that the permissions a user grants to a free application carrying ads are also granted to the advertiser. This meant ad networks can access to the user’s “contacts, calendar and location”, the researcher claims.
The unnamed researcher told Channel 4: "We found that a lot of the free applications in the top 50 apps list are using advertising inside the applications and that the permission that you grant to these applications is also granted to the advertiser. If users knew about this I think they would be concerned about it but at the moment I don't think they are aware of the situation and how widely their information can be used." ®
It's an operating system given away free by a marketing company. Not surprised.
Alex Hanff has an interesting idea....
....to deal with Google's EU non-compliant "privacy" changes.
He's taking them to the small claims track to recover the cost of his Android phone (£400).
Unless he gets labelled a vexatious litigant (unlikely) then even if Google "win" it'll cost them as they can't recover costs.
Should he win then precedent is set and anyone in the UK with an Android phone will be able to get a refund from Google, not the manufacturer, as its Google who is the offender.
Going to be interesting to see the outcome of this.
Not surprised but
Why do I keep getting adverts for dating sites?
Not to mention more other more 'unusual' advertisments....
No I have never downloaded them... However my 7 year old son plays some of the games on my phone and increasingly it is not easy to avoid accidently pressing on the ad, next thing he sees is an ad that 7 year olds should not see.
Is this enough for a lawsuit I wonder. If ads are supposed to be targeted why don't I get tech stuff, flying stuff, food stuff (boring I know) instead its all naked girls, dating, etc?