This is a bit unnerving.


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Jan 26, 2010
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What Your Phone App Doesn't Say: It's Watching
Associated Press (07/28/10) Robertson, Jordan

Lookout, a mobile phone security company, scanned nearly 300,000 free applications for Apple iPhones and devices built around Google's Android software and found that a number of them covertly take sensitive information from users' phones and transmit it to third parties without notification. That is a significant concern that has been popping up among privacy and security professionals. The data can include complete details about users' friends, their pictures, text messages, and Internet and search histories. Among these third parties are advertisers and companies that analyze user information. The data is used by companies to target advertisements and accrue more user information. The risk, however, is that the data becomes susceptible to hacking and use in identity theft if the third party does not carefully secure the data. Lookout shared its findings in late July during the Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas. Lookout found that nearly one in four iPhone apps and almost 50 percent of the Android apps contained software code that enabled these capabilities. "We found that not only users, but developers as well, don't know what's happening in their apps, even in their own apps, which is fascinating," says Lookout CEO John Hering.