February 4, 2023

Media: almost 90% of Russian top-end Android applications transmit personal data to third parties

89 of the top 100 free apps in the Russian Google Play Store share user data with third-party platforms. This is evidenced by the study of The Bell.

Using the services of AppCensus and Exodus, the publication analyzed exactly what data is processed and transmitted by applications on the Android OS, as well as what they request from users.

The vast majority of applications transmituser data via both encrypted and unencrypted Android Ad ID channels. This means that in the Google advertising system, the device is easy to associate with a specific person. Unencrypted channels also increase the likelihood of third parties gaining access to users ’personal information, including location.

Among the "champions" of data transfer to third partiesThe publication calls the services “Read Free” services from Litres, Yandex, Rutube and Channel One. The latter also turned out to be the leader in the number of unencrypted streams.

97 out of 100 applications use advertising trackers to help search engines and social networks recognize a specific account and show it personalized advertising.

Exodus specialists found the largest number of trackers in the popular Coub looped video service.

Often, users themselves provide applications with access to the processing of their personal data.

Most Resolutions Among Most PopularGoogle Play Store application requests VK from Mail.ru Group. Among 60 different resolutions, it gets access to the location, camera and microphone, call and message history and user device data.

According to Symantec, 46% of all Android applications request access to the smartphone’s camera, and 25% request audio recording without notifying the user.

Recall that Russia led the rating of countries with the largest number of malicious banking Android applications.