Malware and similar other nefarious software are usually considered the key problem that plagues the mobile devices. However, in doing so, we often overlook the fact that an even more critical aspect of mobile security are the apps that Apple and Google publish on their marketplaces and which are used to gather our personal information.
Most mobile users have a rather casual attitude towards mobile apps. While some are fairly cognizant of their privacy, most don’t mind letting the app access their contacts, calendar details and a lot more.
Similar information is gathered by social networks as well as the companies running major mobile platforms, such as Apple and Google. Once these industry players have sufficient personal information of the users, they hand out this information to many other stakeholders, such as advertisers and marketers.
According to the co-founder of a mobile app security start-up, Appthority, “It’s just not malware we need to worry about; it’s also app developers requesting more personal information than they need to make the app work, and then selling that information to monetize their apps.”
In the cut-throat competition of maintaining ever-expanding apps marketplaces, different companies have decided to ignore many critical aspects of apps security, so that we often see that nefarious apps find their way on to mobile devices. Even such apps which are apparently benign tend to gather even such data from the users which is not directly relevant. The big question is, why do companies like Google and Apple not impose a limit on the extent and scope of the content gathered by different apps.
Courtesy: USA Today