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UPDATE New Article: Best Android Antivirus Apps Privacy has always been an issue, even long before the Android platform was invented. Since time immemorial, people have always been trying to protect their privacy and personal data from both public and private threats. As technology grows each day, so do the number of scams, thefts, hacks, and malicious attacks. Smartphones, being bearers of your personal data, are also delicious targets for privacy intrusions. A lot of Android apps exist to help secure your phone and safeguard your privacy.  In this post, we feature some of the best apps for securing your…

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Making your smartphone “smarter” also means granting it permission to do certain things. Some apps collect usage statistics, for example, and others read your e-mails and messages. That’s not really a problem when you’ve downloaded your app from a trusted developer, but what happens when you’ve been bitten by the app bug and you go on an app downloading spree? Not every app on the Google Play store is safe, and some of them could be collecting all sorts of information from your device for some nefarious and dastardly end. Some discriminating device users will avoid apps that ask for…

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Google is no stranger to controversy related to what some consider blatant intrusion and complete disregard for consumer privacy. While many appreciate the personalized results, others are equally wary about the information tracking and storage, and even more so when it comes to permissions required by applications allowing access to personal information on your handheld device. In a move that is sure to stir up further controversy, Google was recently awarded a patent that will make your device, and indirectly Google, aware of your location. Engadget reports that the patent, filed back in September 2011, describes a software-based alert system and…

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For those afraid that our right to personal privacy is slowly disappearing, there’s a new example of law enforcement procedure to support that concern. If you’re suspected of a crime or arrested in London, Metropolitan Police now has a new system enabling them to almost instantly extract data from your mobile device. The new system, carried out with a device called ACESO, is supplied by UK mobile forensics company Radio Tactics. Metropolitan Police authorities will use the system to download all call log, photo, video, social media, and text message information on phones. Previously, phones had to be sent to…

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A new study by a group of researchers from the Department of Computer Science at the North Carolina State University has discovered that more than half of the ad libraries used by Android developers pose security risks and raise privacy concerns because of  the questionable types of data they collect. The team studied 100,000 apps from Google Play and identified 100 different 3rd party in-app ad libraries commonly used by Android app developers. Further research into the ad libraries themselves showed that many contained inherent privacy and security risks ranging from uploading private information to remote servers to executing untrusted…

Google patent

One of the more fascinating aspects about the movie Minority Report (2002) (apart from the futuristic cars and inner city road system) was how billboard advertisements did a retina scan of passers by and tailored the ad to suit the watcher’s requirements. The movie takes place in the year 2054 A.D., but with Google’s latest patent application, we may be closer to this future than most would think. The patent is titled “Advertising based on environmental conditions.” A short summary of the patent: information about the environmental conditions of a remote device is received, then an advertisement is identified based on…

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Over the last few weeks, privacy has been a hot topic of debate in tech circles, a debate spurred by several high profile issues involving private data, from your location and contact lists, to the pictures on your smartphone. Just to recap, we have Apple’s “Locationgate”, Path’s contact list uploading, and the bug on iOS/feature on Android that let apps access the photos on your SD card without consent. Another significant development came when Google updated and unified the privacy policies of dozens of its products, claiming the right to track your information across all its products, in order to…

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A quick look at the mobile device marketplace will only reveal one significant open source operating system that is used on phones and tablets. That is of course Android. The rest like iOS or Windows Phone 7 are proprietary, closed source platforms. It is impossible to tell what software is actually running on your phone, and what the phone is processing and analyzing in the background. A good example of this is the iPhone “Locationgate” scandal that erupted in the middle of last year. It was discovered that iOS 4 was collecting Wi-Fi hot spot and cell tower information and storing it on the…