According to The Wall Street Journal, popular iOS and Android apps are sneaky data thieves, pilfering user data without making it clear, then sending it off to third-party companies. Everyone knows software does this sort of thing from time to time, but apparently it’s fairly rampant among mobile apps. The Wall Street Journal put together an interactive graphic that details which apps, out of the 101 put under the microscope, collect and redistribute data, and which companies receive said data.
Angry Birds, the widely-popular game about throwing birds at pigs, mines a significant amount of user data, including user location, contacts and phone i.d., and sends it off to Google, Chillingo and Flurry. The Weather Channel app takes the phone i.d. and user location and sends that info off to a variety of places, including Adobe, Apple, Google, and Medialets. Some of the popular apps aren’t total thieves though: The Netflix app takes the phone i.d. and user location and sends it off to Netflix alone, rather than everyone else under the mobile sun. Oddly enough, Bejeweled 2 takes the user’s phone number and sends it off to Facebook.
The Wall Street Journal page with the interactive graphic also contains a handy, organizable chart, so we can all see which companies are receiving our info, whether or not we want them to.
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