The confidentiality and poor security problems that mobile applications have is not a new topic. Unpleasant incidents appear regular in the pasrt few years. According to a recent survey compiled by the Global Privacy Enfrocement Network, the problem is more serious than we would have thought. At least 60% of the available apps for mobile devices like Android and iOS are a potential source of problems.
This study used 1211 apps available on Android and iOS and analyzed the way they protect the privacy of the user.
According to the survey results, at least 60% of the total number of apps don’t explain clearly the ways in which they collect, process and use personal data. It seems that 43% of apps display the terms using a font to small to be seen on small screens, 31% ask too many personal details and 30% don’t display any information relevant to the user’s privacy.
The most common personal data required are geographic coordinates, but the study also included on their list of intrusions the access to the calendar, the agenda, the call log or the terminal’s hardware identification. These results are valid on a global basis, but the analyzed data at the level of each country show that the situation may become even more serious.
These results are not surprising considering that neither EU nor the US have clear legislation in this area.
European authorities have developed a guide for software developers which covers the protection of personal data, but this guide is just a recommendation.
The American authorities still failed to adopt a law aimed to solve this issue.