Some advertising networks used by apps in Android devices are able to gain access to user information, according to an investigation by a UK information security firm.

MWR Infosecurity found that a significant number of the top 50 “free” apps that generate money for the developer and advertisers by connecting to an ad agency pass details about users to the network also.

Commissioned by Channel 4 News, the study stated that roughly a quarter of the UK’s mobile phone users have Android devices and this gap in security is a source of real concern for consumers.

“We found a lot of the free applications in the top 50 apps list are using advertising inside the applications and the permission you grant to these applications is also granted to the advertiser,” MWR Infosecurity told the TV programme.

This could be in breach of European data protection laws and the European Commission’s commissioner for justice Viviane Reding said this practice is against the law.

Posted by Simon Thomas

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