Report: Nearly 90% of Androids Apps Send User Spy Data to Google

AFP/File Jeff Pachoud
AFP/File Jeff Pachoud

Nearly 90 percent of apps analyzed in a report sent data directly back to Google, while 42 percent of apps also sent data to Facebook.

Out of 959,000 apps analyzed from the Google Play store, 88 percent sent data to Google, according to Business Insider.

Just over 42 percent of apps also sent data to Facebook, while just over 33 percent sent data to Twitter.

“Information that could be shared via third-party apps could include things like age, gender, and location,” reported Business Insider. “The study said the median app could transfer data to five tracker companies, which could then ultimately pass the data along to firms like Google.”

Perhaps most concerning, apps which targeted child users were “amongst the worst in terms of the number of third-party trackers associated with them.”

Google, however, disputed the results of the study.

“We disagree with the methodology and the findings of this study. It mischaracterizes ordinary functional services like crash reporting and analytics, and how apps share data to deliver those services,” declared a Google spokesman to Business Insider. “Across Google, and in Google Play, we have clear policies and guidelines for how developers and third-party apps can handle data and we require developers to be transparent and ask for user permission. If an app violates our policies, we take action.”

Last month, Google began logging users into their Google accounts through the Chrome browser without asking for permission or notifying the user, creating privacy concerns.

In 2017, it was also reported that both South Korea and the United Kingdom were investigating Google for collecting data on users without permission.