Video feedback
Automatically detect my connection speed (recommended)

Video settings

Star Wars inspires research

Your feedback was successfully sent.

Click to play video

Video feedback

High-speed broadband (600+ Kb/s)

POPULAR mobile phone applications are sharing sensitive information about users, including their location, with advertising companies, a study has found. Of the 30 applications, 15 sent sensitive information, including the phone’s location, to several advertising companies’ servers. A group of computer engineers wrote a computer program called TaintDroid and installed it on a smartphone to monitor how 30 apps – mobile phone programs for the likes of social networking and downloadable games – were using sensitive information.

Video feedback

Home broadband (100+ Kb/s)

Video settings
Video feedback form
Don’t play
Return to video


More video

Marriage proposal with iPhone ad spoof
Thank you.

56K modem

Click to play video


What type of connection do you have?

Click to play video
The applications assessed included BBC News Live Stream, MySpace and Solitaire, which can be downloaded on smartphones using the popular Google-owned Android operating system. Do you know more? The study’s lead author, William Enck, who is completing his PhD at Pennsylvania State University, said: ”We were surprised by how many of the studied applications shared our information without our knowledge or consent.”

A spokeswoman from Google said on all computing devices, desktop or mobile, users needed to entrust at least some of their information to the developer of the application.

  ”We provide developers with best practices about how to handle user data.”

Users were also free to uninstall applications at any time, the spokeswoman said. TraintDroid’s findings suggest that smartphones are becoming another outlet for advertisers to track people. Two also shared mobile phone number and sim card identifiers with random servers, whose owners could not be identified. Using a technique called ”taint tracking”, the researchers tagged sensitive information held within their test phone, such as the phone’s ID numbers and location, which can be traced when accessed by an application or if it leaves the phone via its wireless internet connection.
Feedback to producers
Use this form to:

Why our broadband speeds are too slow

Video settings form

Advertisement: Story continues below

Return to video
Technical help

Return to video

Replay video
Mobile phone price war breaks out

Facebook privacy breach

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Ten popular Facebook applications have been reportedly transmitting user IDs to advertising and Internet tracking companies.
Medium-speed broadband (300+ Kb/s)

Play now
Ask for technical assistance in playing the multimedia available on this site, or

Note: A cookie will be set to keep your preferences.
Provide feedback to the multimedia producers.

Click to play video