Feeds

It never ends: TV exposé tags new Android privacy howler

EC blasts Google personal data-sharing as ‘illegal’

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.