Almost all retail Android apps leak personal user data

Anne Freier | January 9, 2020

App Business

Portrait of woman using mobile phone while lying on bed

Almost 70% of Android mobile apps leak personal user data, according to an examination of 250 apps by security company NowSecure.

Leaked data includes personal data such as names, usernames, phone details, email address, geo-location, account numbers and device numbers.

“After extensive testing, NowSecure is issuing a global warning to the millions of mobile app consumers and businesses to temporarily stop using top retail and e-commerce apps,” the company told Retail Dive. “Millions of users operate under the false assumption that the apps on their phones are safe.”

Among the worst affected were consumers of retail apps (92% of leaks) and brick and mortar apps (82%). In a blow to user security efforts, NowSecure found just 8% of apps to be not exposing personal information.

Among the safest apps were those by financial institutions and insurance firms.

Figures may not be quite as dire for shopping apps on Apple devices. According to research by AppsFlyer, Android’s fraud rate is 6x higher than iOS’s.

Nevertheless, it’s a growing concern among consumers and retailers who are trying to safeguard their apps against abuse.

The latest research shows that retailers have some work to do if they want to ensure their apps are safe against fraud.

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