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Privacy Concerns With Android and iPhone Apps 116

carre4 writes "The Wall Street Journal has come out with an article where they examine 101 popular smartphone apps and show that 56 of them transmit various types of information including unique phone IDs, age, gender, postal codes, and location to ad companies. The article also includes responses from infringing app makers and talks about the pressure that some developers feel to share even more information, like Max Binshtok, creator of the DailyHoroscope for Android, who has been encouraged by ad-network executives to transmit users' locations."
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Privacy Concerns With Android and iPhone Apps

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  • by splerdu ( 187709 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @04:51PM (#34602202)

    Se we can download source and built it ourselves?

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday December 18, 2010 @07:55PM (#34603282)

    The article stated:

    "One iPhone app, Pumpkin Maker (a pumpkin-carving game), transmits location to an ad network without asking permission."

    That is flat out impossible. I am an iPhone developer; there is no way for an application to obtain user location without the user being prompted if that is OK.

    It makes the rest of the conclusions very suspect to me. Just how would an app get age and gender? Again I cannot think of a way that is even possible on an iPhone without being asked; no-where on my iPhone is my birthday or age even stored.

  • Re:Laws of reality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @01:11AM (#34605026) Journal

    Oh, I agree, there isn't one.

    Part of the problem, though, comes from the iPhone zealots--and, to a lesser degree, Apple--who claim that Apple's App Store makes your private information nice and secure. After all, they'll claim, look at all those nasty apps on Android that transmit your personal information. iPhone users don't have to worry about that because Apple checks all of these things and makes sure that you're safe.

    So if Apple can't stop an App like Pumpkin Maker from transmitting personal information, what is the advantage to the customer of having a sole-source App Store? Isn't Apple just providing "security theatre" by implying they can do things that they obviously cannot?

Space is to place as eternity is to time. -- Joseph Joubert