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  • Apps Violating Your Privacy: Report

    Apps are sending your personal data to online trackers in violation of Apple's privacy rules. That's the conclusion of a Wall Street Journal investigation, which determined that a number of popular apps - such as Pandora and MySpace - transmit device and demographic data to advertisers without first asking the user for permission.

    The Wall Street Journal tested 101 apps for iPhone and Android and found that 56 of them transmitted unique device identifiers (UDIDs) to a flock of advertisers without asking or even informing the app user. 47 of the evaluated apps send location data and five (including Pandora) transmit your personal details such as age and gender. Apple says that they vet apps before approving them on the App Store, but the Journal found that at least one - Pumpkin Maker - had managed to skirt the rules.

    These concerns have been raised before, and one important thing to be aware of is that the collected data is usually processed in batches without any specific information about your identity. However, the fact that UDIDs are being sent out presents the very real danger that someone - be it a black-hat hacker or government organization - could be intercepting this information, slowly building a database of everyone's personal details. Meghan O'Holleran of Traffic Marketplace notes that "you can't clear a UDID like you can a cookie." She says "that's how we track everything."

    A mobile-ads executive interviewed by the Journal responded by asserting that "in the world of mobile, there is no anonymity." Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association says that the mobile phone is "always with us. It's always on."

    Source: AppleInsider, image via Wall Street Journal
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apps Violating Your Privacy: Report started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 69 Comments
    1. DeadGlory's Avatar
      DeadGlory -
      Im done using pandora then.
    1. JonnyBoy333's Avatar
      JonnyBoy333 -
      Yeah that's pretty lame, damn you Pandora.
    1. dabisnit's Avatar
      dabisnit -

      Now I have to get music instead of pandora, what a pain...
    1. Eagleye's Avatar
      Eagleye -
      Uhh... wow, creepy? Reminds me of Eagle Eye. This pisses me off, I hate that I cant even listen to some streaming music without worrying that someone is digitally stalking me. Stupid iPhone... im gettin a Motorola DynaTAC. Who needs apps?
    1. saunupe1911's Avatar
      saunupe1911 -
      I'm done using Pandora as well. I wonder if Slacker does the same thing.
    1. Silverado87's Avatar
      Silverado87 -
      I'm glad I stopped using myspace and pandora a long time ago. That's really ****** of them
    1. Volerikan's Avatar
      Volerikan -
      Those trackers already have all my info, so what's the point of giving up Pandora now?
    1. roy4423's Avatar
      roy4423 -
      Damn! I use pandora daily. What can they do with this data?
    1. edwilk55's Avatar
      edwilk55 -
      Never liked Pandora....and who the hell uses MySpace any more?

      I do use Grooveshark...wonder what they are collecting?

      We already know FaceBook collects everything it can.
    1. Dizi's Avatar
      Dizi -
      This really only confirms what I have been suspecting all along. No surprise here.
    1. smittyjf's Avatar
      smittyjf -
      I have Microchips under my skin so I don't care lol
    1. kadinh's Avatar
      kadinh -
      I blame Obama....

      not really, but this really does piss me off too. but like stated before, if they already have it, what's the point of stopping?

      maybe there will be a lawsuit and those who have been using it will be rewarded a settlement.
    1. IMIX's Avatar
      IMIX -
      I'm wondering how much of this is blocked by 'Privacy'?
      Apparently Pandora sends Age, Gender, Location, and phone ID.
      Angry birds sends something from Contact info!!! yow.. b-bye!
      What They Know - Mobile - WSJ
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      PrivaCy was meant to prevent rogue apps like these from "stealing" your info, unless you specifically grant them access. I wonder if those of us who have PrivaCy installed have any protection against this invasion?
    1. Shanteeman's Avatar
      Shanteeman -
      So do the privacy toggles on the that tweak need to be on or off? The way the header reads is weird...and yeah, who much does it block?
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shanteeman View Post
      So do the privacy toggles on the that tweak need to be on or off? The way the header reads is weird...and yeah, who much does it block?

      The toggles need to be off....
    1. MikePA's Avatar
      MikePA -
      Like several others, I just deleted Pandora.
    1. Wolftamer's Avatar
      Wolftamer -
      Some of those on the list make sense and are not surprises. Like them saying Foursquare sends your location and user info to the company...duh, you have to log in and the entire purpose is that it uses your location.

      Actually I was surprised how little Facebook actually uses.
    1. Bl1tz's Avatar
      Bl1tz -
      Pandora already has my info, so why should I care? Maybe we should all hack the crap out of these apps until they change
    1. EskimoRuler's Avatar
      EskimoRuler -
      pandora you disappoint me, I love that app too