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Study Finds iOS Apps Just As Intrusive As Android Apps 107

wiredmikey writes "Despite fevered arguments that iOS is more secure than Android, and that Android offers developers more options than iOS, a study has found that both platforms are equally as invasive and curious when it comes to collecting user data. Security firm BitDefender analyzed more than 522,000 apps over the past year and focused on the 'intrusive behaviors' the app developer may have included in the product, such as tracking location, reading contact lists, and leaking your email address or device ID. According to Catalin Cosi, iOS applications appear to be more focused on harvesting private data than the ones designed for Android. Cosi did acknowledge that Android apps state all the permissions needed at installation time and there is no way to change the settings afterwards, while iOS permissions are requested at run-time, as the specific resource is used, making iOS a little bit more secure in practice."
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Study Finds iOS Apps Just As Intrusive As Android Apps

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  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:15AM (#44325187)

    iOS apps have to ask for permissions.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:31AM (#44325245)

    Furthermore you can pick and choose what permissions you give, and double check or revoke them later from one convenient "Privacy" pane. I'm switching permissions off and on for my own amusement right now.

    Also the device UDID is no longer available; apps that look for it are rejected and I think the current version of iOS refuses to hand it over.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:43AM (#44325309)

    iOS apps don't ask for permission.

    Accessing the framework APIs will prompt the system to ask for permission, on behalf of the application. Basically, most APIs will work irregardless of what the user chooses. What those APIs return is directly related to the users choice- for example, if the user says "no" when the application attempts to determine your location via Core Location, then the CL APIs will still work- they'll just return useless information (basically hardcoded to nothing). The other APIs work in the same way.

    This was done for backwards compatibility (so applications don't break just because the privacy stuff decided you can't get access to XYZ- the APIs for XYZ still work as expected, they just don't return any usable information) and so that applications can't side step the process of asking for permission but attempting to access the APIs anyways.

    It is possible to circumvent all of this by going around the system frameworks, but that is not trivial in the least- and Apple will smack you down hard for even attempting to access the private APIs you need to do so. You either go through their public APIs and get on the app store, or find some other way onto user devices (in which case the user is responsible for whatever stupidity they're going to run as root on their handheld).

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun