As consumers, we have been incredibly spoiled by the wealth of “free” apps that we unthinkingly install on our Android tablets and iOS phones. We are so used to getting things for cheap or for free that we don’t stop to consider why a developer would be so willing to hand over their app for free. It should come as no surprise, however, that many of these free apps make money by selling your sensitive information to third parties, often without the consent of the user.
In fact, it’s not only free apps that are sharing your data. Some paid apps as well as some that you’d never expect make money by mining user information.
Here are 5 surprising apps that share your data.
1. Brightest Flashlight
Approximately 100 million Android users downloaded this app, and none could have suspected that the app was selling information to third parties AND lying about their “no share” option.
2. Angry Birds
Yes, everyone’s favourite avian violence game was found to be sharing its users information – and allegedly with the NSA and other spy agencies. Conspiracy theorists, all is forgiven.
As well as being a means to identify that annoying song that’s stuck in your head, Shazam is a way for the music industry to see what’s trending, and therefore where they should put their money. That means that they know that you secretly love Katy Perry (and they’ll sell that info for money).
Another music-related betrayal. Pandora also attempts to pinpoint your voting preferences according to what music you’re listening to, and then sells adspace based on these preferences.
Being a business site, this one shouldn’t really be so surprising – but it is. Companies and recruiters pay to access LinkedIn’s databases. This sheds light on the oft-asked question about why their app is better than their website.