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Showing posts from November, 2012

Analysis of Most Unexpected Permissions for Android Apps

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Our team has been analyzing Android apps for unusual behaviors, using crowdsourcing techniques to find differences between what people expect an app to do and what an app does in reality.
Here are the top 10 most unexpected permissions, based on our crowdsourcing approach to analyze the behavior of Android apps. Each circle represents the level of surprise people had for each permission (N=20). For example, a vast majority of people (95%) were surprised that Brightest Flashlight used location data, but no one (0%) was surprised that Google Maps did so. Here, we can use level of surprise as one form of privacy. If people aren't surprised, then from our perspective it's less of a privacy issue, since people have some level of informed consent. On the other hand, if lots of people are surprised, then we have a potential privacy issue at hand.

Here is the top 10 list in text form, with links to more analysis where available.
Brightest FlashlightToss ItAngry BirdsTalking Tom FreeBack…

Analysis of Brightest Flashlight Free for Android

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Brightest Flashlight Free GoldenShores Technologies, LLC Category: Tools Price: Free Description Brightest Flashlight Free - Turns on all available lights. Brightest Flashlight App – Free of Charge * Turns on all available lights on the device * Camera Flash LED at Maximum * Screen at Bright Maximum * Keyboard Backlight at Maximum * Soft Keys Backlight at Maximum

Resource Used by Description Device ID Mdotm Millennial Media Mobclix Mobile ad optimization and tracking Targeted mobile advertising Mobile ads, analytics, ad exchange Location Adwhirl Flurry

Analysis of Horoscope for Android

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Horoscope Horoscope.fr Category: Lifestyle Price: Free Description Check your complete horoscopes for today, tomorrow and much more ! Horoscope : The official Horoscope from horoscope.fr now available on your Android phone ! 100% FREE, 100% PRO !

Resource Used by Description Device ID Used for indexing users
Location Flurry
App analytics Other 3rd-party libraries app uses Facebook Twitter

Analysis of Shazam for Android

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Shazam Shazam Entertainment Limited Category: Music & Audio Price: Free Description Hear a song you don't know? Shazam identifies it instantly. Free and Unlimited. Faster tagging. Now discover, explore and share more music, TV shows and brands you love in as little as one second.

Resource Used by Description Device ID Used for indexing users
Location Admarvel Medialets Shazam Mobile ad optimization
Mobile ads and campaigns Owner of app, for tagging songs Other 3rd-party libraries app uses

Analysis of Talking Tom Free for Android

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Talking Tom Free Outfit 7 Category: Entertainment Price: Free Description Tom is your pet cat, that responds to your touch and repeats everything you say. ★★★ A Cat That Talks? ★★★ Talking Tom repeats everything you say with a funny voice. You can pet him, poke him, you can even grab his tail.

Resource Used by Description Device ID Used for indexing users
Other 3rd-party libraries app uses --

Analysis of Backgrounds HD Wallpaper for Android

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Backgrounds HD Wallpapers Stylem Media Category: Entertainment Price: Free Description Backgrounds - more than 10,000 Wallpapers, Add your own Photo and customize! 10,000 awesome unique designs. New Backgrounds added daily.

Resource Used by Description Contact Used internally for assigning contact photos
Device ID Used for indexing users
Other 3rd-party libraries app uses --

Analysis of Toss It for Android

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Toss It MeetMe.com Category: Casual Price: Free Description Toss a ball of crumpled paper into a waste bin. Surprisingly addictive! Join the MILLIONS of Android gamers already playing Toss It, the most addictive casual game on the market -- FREE!

Resource Used by Description Device ID Millennial Media Scoreloop Myyearbook Targeted mobile advertising Virtual currency, social games Former name of MeetMe.com Location Admob Adwhirl Flurry Myyearbook Mobile ad net

Analysis of Dictionary.com for Android

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Dictionary.com Dictionary.com, LLC Category: Books & Reference Price: Free Description Take Dictionary.com's trusted reference content wherever you go. Top-rated #1 Android dictionary app, with trusted reference content from Dictionary.com & Thesaurus.com!


Resource Used by Description Device ID Greystripe Millennial Media Mobile ad network Targeted mobile advertising Location Dictionary.com Owner of app (for finding nearby words) Other 3rd-party libraries app uses