Data Mining

App users opening the gates to data mining: McAfee

At the launch of Privacy Awareness Week, new research shows that a large proportion of Australian Android users are allowing apps to access their personal information — whether they know it or not.

The research — conducted in February 2014 by internet security provider McAfee — shows that more than a third of Australians are allowing apps to access information such as contacts and photos. According to McAfee, 82 per cent of mobile apps read and collect user information as well as “tracking when users use Wi-Fi, data networks, current and historic locations and when devices are switched on”.

McAfee’s chief privacy officer Michelle Dennedy said that, although most apps are safe, some have a “covert mission to collect and share information on users”.

“When a user gives an app access to information stored on their phones, it’s important to consider exactly what information that app should realistically need in order to operate — for example when downloading a game, think whether the app really needs access to your contacts,” she said.

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