Researchers from Northeastern University are publishing a new study which finds that Android apps are taking screenshots and screen recordings of users’ activity on their phones and sharing them with third parties. Interestingly, the team was looking for examples of apps that surreptitiously recorded audio but did not find any. However, some believe that what they did find might be worse.
The researchers said, “Our study reveals several alarming privacy risks in the Android app ecosystem, including apps that over-provision their media permissions and apps that share image and video data with other parties in unexpected ways, without user knowledge or consent. We also identify a previously unreported privacy risk that arises from third party libraries that record and upload screenshots and videos of the screen without informing the user. This can occur without needing any permissions from the user.”
Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal published another alarming (lack of) privacy story about mobile development firms being able to read users’ Gmail messages.