Tinder, Snapchat, Twitter, and other top apps have allegedly been
secretly tracking users, according to a report.
Independent reported on
Tuesday that the apps, which include Uber, Tinder, Skype, Twitter,
Spotify, and Snapchat, “contain hidden trackers that can secretly
monitor everything you do.”
of this information is in the public interest, as it reveals clandestine
surveillance software that is unknown to Android users at the time of
app installation,” declared Privacy Lab in a blog post. “These
trackers vary in their features and purpose, but are primarily utilized
for targeted advertising, behavioral analytics, and location tracking.”
Lab looked into 25 out of 44 identified trackers from French non-profit
organization Exodus Privacy.
activity originating from these Android apps crosses multiple countries
and legal jurisdictions,” they claimed. “Lack of transparency about the
collection, transmission, and processing of data via these trackers
raises serious privacy concerns and may have grave security implications
for mobile software downloaded and in active use by billions of people
their report, Privacy Lab claimed, “More than 75% of the 300+ apps
analyzed by Exodus contain the signatures of trackers,” while “apps
identified as ‘clean’ today may contain trackers that have not yet been
more disconcerting is the potential impact of advertising trackers on
the finances and healthcare of users. One app analyzed by Exodus, Mon
AXA (‘My AXA’), is developed by a multinational insurance and financial
firm, and was found to contain six trackers,” the organization alleged.
“Exactly what information is shared is unknown, though the data stored
by the app is extremely sensitive.”
Lab concluded their report by calling upon app developers and Google to
be more transparent about privacy and security practices.
users, and users of all app stores, deserve a trusted chain of software
development, distribution, and installation that does not include
unknown or masked third-party code,” they expressed. “Scholars, privacy
advocates, and security researchers should be alarmed by the data, and
can provide further analysis now that these findings and the Exodus
platform have been made public.”
week, it was reported that
regulators from both South Korea and the United Kingdom were
investigating Google for allegedly collecting location data on its users
Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow
him on Twitter @MrNashington and
his page at Facebook.