The spy who phoned me

‘I have read and agree to the terms and conditions’. This is a very common little white lie told on a daily basis by people around the world.

When you next download an app to your phone, however, think twice before ticking that little box before you have read the small print.

This week Juniper released its research into the security of mobile apps and the findings were quite shocking.

As reported in the London Evening Standard, 7% of mobile apps can access the address book on your phone and send them back to the app owner.

And watch out which snaps you take on holiday – 5.5% of free apps can access your mobile phone’s camera.

But when you get further into the report things look more sinister

2.5% of apps downloaded for free can send text messages or make phone calls on your behalf and most worryingly some apps can even listen to ambient conversations in a room using your mobile phone.

Don’t go wiping your phone just yet though – most of these capabilities have been accidently programmed into the app and most are not used for the owners gain.

And if you are on Apple’s iOS things are looking pretty safe, the majority of these apps come through the other app stores.

Still, next time you are confronted by the 30 pages and 15,000 words of Ts and Cs take a bit of a closer look.

By earnestagency 8 November 2012
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