Free Facebook apps 'can spy on your texts and calls'

   Feb 27, 5:02 pm

London, Feb 27 (ANI): Smartphone users have been warned of privacy dangers as companies are using free apps as 'fronts' to allow them to spy on users' text messages, intercept calls and even track their location.

By accepting little-read terms and conditions when downloading apps, consumers give developers the right to harvest vast swathes of private information.

Facebook insists that people using its Android smartphone app agree to give them permission to read their text messages, although the internet giant said it had not yet taken advantage of this right.

Social media sites Flickr and Yahoo! have also alleged to read text messages via their apps, while apps from smaller companies allow them to extract private details about users' lives. They can even remotely take images from users' handset cameras and even dial their phone and intercept calls without them knowing.

Privacy campaigners criticised the abuse of personal information. Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, described the apps market as "an unregulated Wild West".

"Your personal information is a precious commodity, and companies will go to great lengths to get their hands on as much of it as possible," the Daily mail quoted Emma Draper, of the Privacy International campaign group as saying.

The Facebook app has been downloaded to Google's Android smartphones more than 100million times, yet few of its users are thought to know that they have agreed to give Facebook the right "to read SMS messages stored on your device or SIM card".

Apps are also used to identify the location of users through global positioning software and access the phone numbers and email addresses of their contacts.

They can also be used to gain information about the app users' web browsing history.

These details are often sold on to advertisers and market research companies, exposing those downloading the apps to unwanted advertising and spam messages.

Daniel Rosenfield, director of app company Sun Products, said selling on the information was far more lucrative than charging for the app.

"The revenue you get from selling your apps doesn't touch the revenue you get from giving your apps away for free and just loading them with advertisements," Rosenfield said.

A spokesman for Facebook said the request for permission to read text messages was to allow the app to read and write data between itself and the phone's SMS feature, rather than for the company to trawl individuals' messages.

"If Facebook ultimately launches any feature that makes use of these permissions, we will ensure that this is accompanied by appropriate guidance," he said.

Google also commented on the app.

"From the beginning, Android has had an industry-leading permissions system which informs consumers what data an app can access and requires users' approval before installation," Google said. (ANI)

TRAI verdict on net neutrality to benefit 'Startup India', 'Digital India' programme: Cyber law expert Feb 8, 5:49 pm
New Delhi, Feb.8 (ANI): Cyber law expert Virag Gupta on Monday said the ruling out differential pricing for Internet services and supporting net neutrality by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will ensure free internet services to the masses in the country and will specially benefit Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Startup' and 'Digital India' programme.
Full Story
Le1s second flash sale registrations reach record 920,000 on Flipkart Feb 8, 5:37 pm
New Delhi, Feb.8 (ANI): LeEco, the global internet technology giant, today announced that the registrations for its second flash sale of Le 1s has already reached 920,000 on Flipkart. The response from consumers to LeEco's flagship killer device- the Le1s has been overwhelming. The pre-sale registrations has crossed the milestone achieved for registrations for the first flash sale, which was 6,05,000, a validation of the complete confidence and trust that consumers have in LeEco's Le 1 s.
Full Story
ShopClues is official online partner for Gionee's P5W smartphone Feb 8, 4:28 pm
New Delhi, Feb. 8, (ANI): ShopClues, India's first and largest managed marketplace is the official online partner for the Gionee P5W. The superb device goes on sale on ShopClues on February 8, 2016. Through this association, ShopClues marches ahead with its promise of making the most coveted consumer electronics available exclusively on its website and mobile app for consumers. The fun, cool and vibrant device that packs in a real punch with its best-in-breed specifications is available at only Rs 6499 on ShopClues.
Full Story
Superphone Le 1s available for Rs. 10,999 Feb 8, 3:33 pm
New Delhi, Feb.8 (ANI): The sleek and beautiful Le1s - the new Superphone on the block from LeEco is here. Available in amazing colours of gold, silver and grey, the Le 1s is a beauty to behold with not just great looks but also a superfast performance and great camera features- all of this at a price tag of only INR 10,999.
Full Story
Comments