Privacy

Free Apps Often Invade Privacy

There's spyware in that bargain

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Freebie mobile applications come with a higher privacy and security risk, according to an 18-month long study by Juniper Networks.

The networking giant ran an audit of 1.7 million applications on the Android market and discovered that free applications are five times more likely to track user location and a whopping 314 per cent more likely to access user address books than paid counterparts.

Around one in four (24.1 per cent) free apps require permission to track location, while only 6 per cent of paid apps request this ability. Around 6.7 per cent of freebie Android apps have permission to access user's address book, a figure that drops to just 2.1 per cent for paid apps.