Pre-installed apps on low-end Android phones are full of security holes
In what has become an annual reckoning, security research company Kryptowire recently published its 2019 report on the state of manufacturer-installed software and firmware for Android devices and, to no one's surprise, they found more than 140 bugs which could be exploited for malicious purposes. The DHS-funded report uncovered 146 apps, which come pre-installed on inexpensive Android handsets, would pull shenanigans like eavesdropping through the microphone, unilaterally changing their permissions or surreptitiously transmitting data back to the manufacturer without ever notifying the user.
Ten popular apps -- including Tinder, and -- are sharing people's personal information with dozens of digital marketing and ad tech companies without explicitly letting users know, according to a new study. The only way for many users to protect their information, the report says, is for them to have never installed the apps at all.
The study, released Tuesday by the Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerradet), found that the apps, which also included Clue and My Days, were collectively sharing user data with at least 135 advertising-related companies. The shared data included GPS locations and IP addresses, as well as personal details about gender, sexuality and political views, according to the study.
Bitmoji's custom clothing makes your avatar more true to life
It's now easier to be a rugged individualist as far as a digital avatar will allow, anyway. Snap is rolling out a Mix and Match option for Bitmoji on Android and iOS that, as the name implies, lets you customize your virtual persona's clothing on a piece-by-piece basis. Venture into the Avatar Designer in the Bitmoji or Snapchat apps and you can choose different tops, bottoms, shoes and other apparel that matches what you actually wear, or at least what you'd like to actually wear. Want to dress like a hypebeast? You can probably get close enough to let everyone know your tastes.
Match Group, which owns Tinder and OkCupid, said it uses third-party companies to assist with "technical operations and providing our overall services."
"We only share the specific information deemed necessary to operate our platform, in line with the applicable laws including GDPR and CCPA, said a Match Group spokesperson on Monday, referring to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act. "All Match Group products obtain from these vendors strict contractual commitments that ensure confidentiality, security of users' personal information and strictly prohibit commercialization of this data."
Google adds another 37 apps to its Play Pass subscription service
Rather than buying hundreds of individual apps for your mobile device, companies are increasingly offering subscriptions where you pay a single monthly fee to access all the apps you want. Play Pass, Google's Android app subscription service, launched in September with a catalog of more than 350 apps. The service faces stiff competition in the form of Apple Arcade though, so Google has now expanded its program to offer a further 37 games and apps.
The other apps citeddidn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
"Every day, millions of Americans share their most intimate personal details on these apps, upload personal photos, track their periods and reveal their sexual and religious identities," Burcu Kilic, of Public Citizen, said. "But these apps and online services spy on people, collect vast amounts of personal data and share it with third parties without people's knowledge."
Public Citizen, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of California and nine other advocacy groups, has called on the US Federal Trade Commission, Congress and the attorneys general of three states to investigate the app companies' data-sharing practices.
The study also said the apps didn't clearly inform users that data would be shared with third-party ad companies. Though some of the data-sharing is described in the apps' privacy policies, the descriptions are long, complex and unlikely to be read by consumers, according to the study. The majority of the apps also didn't offer options or settings to prevent or reduce the sharing of data with third-party companies. The NCC said this leaves most people with one option if they don't want their data shared: Don't install the apps at all.
The NCC tweeted that it'll file complaints against six companies based on its findings.
Brazil: Facebook is fined 1.5 million euros
The company is accused of having illegally shared user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The Brazilian government announced Monday that it has fined 6.6 million reais (around 1.5 million euros)for "improperly sharing user data", as part of the scandal .
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The Department of Consumer Protection and Defense (DPDC), which reports to the Ministry of Justice, considers that Facebook has been guilty of "abusive practice" by allowing the company Cambridge Analytica have access to the personal data of 443,000 Brazilian internet users who have downloaded a psychological testing application.Record fine in the United States
Cambridge Analytica found itself in 2018 at the heart of a scandal that seriously damaged the reputation of Facebook. The social network estimated that the personal data of 87 million people around the world had been collected and used without consent by Cambridge Analytica, even if this company denies any embezzlement.
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Facebook reacted to the announcement of the fine imposed by the Brazilian government by saying that there was "no evidence that the data of Brazilian users have been transferred to Cambridge Analytica ". "We have made changes to our platform to restrict the information available to companies developing the applications," added Facebook, who has ten days to appeal and one month to pay the fine.
In June, the social network was fined $ 5 billion in the United States for failing to protect the personal data of its users. Other countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy have also sentenced Facebook to pay fines in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In September, Facebook announced that it had suspended tens of thousands of applications that potentially posed a risk to the privacy of its users.
Grindr said to share users' locations, sex preferences .
Apps fed advertisers data that included info about "personalities, predispositions and secret desires," study found.The popular matchmaking apps collected and processed large amounts of highly sensitive information pertaining to individuals' sexuality, drug use, political views and more to help advertisers send consumers more targeted ads, the Norwegian Consumer Council said in a report entitled "Out of control: How consumers are exploited by the online advertising industry.