Flexera's AdminStudio Mobile software tested the apps to determine how they interact with an Apple iOS device’s:
- Ad Network
- Address Book
- In-app Purchasing
- Location services
- Sharing functionality
- Social Networking
The issue was complicated when the device was also used as a BYOD (bring you own) corporate device as potentially some could access sensitive corporate data. A seemingly innocuous mobile phone flashlight app was illegally transmitting users’ precise locations and unique device identifiers to third parties, including advertising networks. Or the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) embarrassment when an employee playing on a Kim Kardashian Hollywood app tweeted out to the EPA’s 52,000 Twitter followers, “I’m now a C-List celebrity in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.”
Support for ad-networks is a great concern – see iTWire’s article here.
Some 26 popular US apps were tested and the results were alarming- read on to see the results.
Flexera says that IT teams need to understand what popular mobile apps employees are letting onto corporate and BYOD devices, and understand what risks those apps have. Mandatory testing of mobile apps to discover their behaviour and risks should be part of any organization’s centralised Application Readiness processes.
Note that this article refers to iOS devices - it applies to Android as well.