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Google has removed a pivotal privacy feature from its Android operating system that gave users the ability to deny permissions in and regulate information collection attempts by installed applications.
Cellphone owners now account for 88 percent of the U.S. population, of which some 43 percent say they download applications on their phones. Among these ‘app users,’ 57 percent told the Pew Internet and American Life Project that they have either uninstalled existing applications or made the decision to not install an application altogether after determining the amount of personal information required as a permission to install.
BOSTON–Accountability, not superior technology, has kept Apple’s iOS ecosystem free of viruses, even as the competing Android platform strains under the weight of repeated malicious code outbreaks, say researchers Dan Guido of the firm Trail of Bits and Michael Arpaia of iSEC Partners.
The term “permissions” may be a relative one for Google’s Android operating system, which grants applications with no permissions access to a wide range of user and device data, according to research from the company Leviathan Security Group.
After a researcher discovered that any person who decides to download the Path app onto their mobile device is unknowingly sending their address book to a server belonging to the social network and photo-sharing service without prior notification, the company has released a new version of the app that asks people to opt in to that behavior.
Security experts are warning Facebook users about a shady file-sharing application called ChatSend that has been linked to spammy e-mail and wall posts from the accounts of Facebook users who download it.
In a letter to the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) expressed concerns regarding recent revelations that Apple products have been continuously tracking and recording user location information with questionable consent and without an easy way to opt out of such tracking.
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