“Mobile devices and applications are no longer an accessory theyre central to our daily lives. Gartner predicts the number of mobile apps downloaded will double to 45 billion this year and theyre only getting smarter. Todays apps are increasingly essential to accessing critical business applications, connecting with friends on the go and even adopting digital wallets. While these apps make our lives easier, they also give a wider group of application developers and advertising networks the ability to collect information about our activities and leverage the functionality of our devices. At the same time, the companies, consumers and government employees who install these apps often do not understand with who and how they are sharing personal information. Even though a list of permissions is presented when installing an app, most people dont understand what they are agreeing to or have the proper information needed to make educated decisions about which apps to trust. More concerning is that many apps collect information or require permissions unnecessary for the described functionality of the apps. This is not the first time this issue has surfaced reports of popular apps collecting irrelevant information or transmitting data when devices are turned off has led to significant backlash. However, less is known about the state of privacy across the entire application ecosystem. To get a sense of the state of application privacy today, Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center (MTC) analyzed over 1.7 million apps on the Google Play market from March 2011 to September 2012.”
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