Three University of Groningen Computer Science students have written a program, Anaconda, that checks how likely Android apps are to leak private information. When the program was tested on fourteen popular apps, it turned out that no less than 42% of the private information was being leaked to third party servers.
Many apps need certain information from your phone but it is not always clear what happens to that information. As you would expect, in some cases the private information needed to enable the app to function is requested, but often it is not. This is what the three Computer Science students – Stephan Groenewold, Klaas Winter and Jan Veldthuis – discovered when they tested their Anaconda anti-leak program.
The students released Anaconda on a total of fourteen popular Android apps. Seven of them requested private information and subsequently leaked it to third party servers. Anaconda discovered a total of 572 requests for private information; 243 of the cases indicated a possible leak.
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