Usually if an application wants to transmit data to an outside source, you have to give it permission to do so. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, though, some rather popular apps have been violating the privacy of users and secretly transmitting data to advertisers. After testing 101 popular iPhone and Android apps, including Pandora and MySpace, the WSJ found that over half sent unique device identifiers (UDID) to advertisers, with some apps even transmitting the user's gender, age, and location. The good news is that the information was usually sent in large, anonymous batches, meaning that it could be tough to single out one particular person's data.
Whenever we hear of an app secretly sending user data to advertisers, it's usually a newer app or one that doesn't have tons and tons of downloads, so it's kind of surprising to see an app like Pandora included in the WSJ's report. While it's true that personal data like name, phone number, etc. doesn't get sent out, it's still kind of surprising to learn that an app like Pandora, which is on just about every phone out there, is secretly sending information to advertisers. Now that this info has come to light, it'll be interesting to see how the makers of the offending apps respond. How many of you use Pandora, MySpace, or Paper Toss? Are you upset that the apps are transmitting your data without consent?