Appthority Identifies Security and Privacy Risks of Top Mobile Apps

Appthority released on Tuesday its Summer 2013 App Reputation Report to highlight the hidden behaviors of popular free and paid mobile apps. The report examines how the “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement has led to the mixing of personal and corporate data on employee-owned devices, and how the apps we use every day can …   Read More

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Appthority Identifies Security and Privacy Risks of Top Mobile AppsAppthority released on Tuesday its Summer 2013 App Reputation Report to highlight the hidden behaviors of popular free and paid mobile apps.

The report examines how the “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement has led to the mixing of personal and corporate data on employee-owned devices, and how the apps we use every day can put that data at risk.

The report also shares how some app developers collect data on users as a money-making technique.

Other findings from the App Reputation Report include:

  • Overall, 83% of the most popular apps are associated with security risks and privacy issues.
  • iOS apps exhibited more risky behaviors than Android apps. 91% of iOS apps exhibit at least one risky behavior, as compared to 80% of Android apps.
  • 95% of the top free apps and 77.5% of the top paid apps exhibited at least one risky behavior.
  • 78% of the most popular free Android apps identify the user’s ID (UDID).
  • Even though Apple prohibits its developers from accessing the UDID, 5.5% of the tested iOS apps still do.
  • 72% of the top free apps track for the user’s location, compared to 41% of paid apps.
  • Although paid apps already generate revenue when downloaded, 59% of paid iOS and 24% of paid Android apps still support in-app purchasing.
  • Furthermore, 39% of paid iOS and 16% of paid Android apps still share data with ad networks.

“In analyzing both paid and free apps in our report, we’ve identified several new security trends within the global app ecosystem,” says Domingo Guerra, co-founder and president at Appthority. “For instance, we measured how paid apps – like free apps – are now supporting in-app purchasing and sharing data with ad networks as a method of generating revenue, even if it means putting user and corporate data at risk. We also discovered several popular iOS apps that access the unique device identifier (or UDID), even though Apple strictly prohibits that activity because UDIDs can be linked back to the private user information and activity as they navigate across apps.”

The review the full report, click here.

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