The Data Center of China Internet (DCCI) is warning users that almost 35 percent of Android apps downloaded in the country secretly steal user data. The organization says the apps perform data searches that are not mentioned in their functionality.
The DCCI examined 1,400 apps that were downloaded from various app markets. The study found that 66.9 percent of all apps gathered some type of user data and 34.5 percent gathered info that was not disclosed in the apps use policies.
Google has come under fire in China because its Google Android market lacks any type of real controls. The Chinese government has argued that Google has too much control over the country’s smartphone industry, warning that domestic companies have been discriminated against because of Google tech.
While the Google Android OS is the number one operating system in China, the company’s OS has been largely hacked by many local manufacturers, making it almost unrecognizable from the original Android OS. It is that type of open source customization that has allowed local manufacturers to easily scale their own devices for mass consumption.
Mass production of hacked Google Android OS devices have become so popular they have been given the name “Chinadroids” and they are believed to be taking over the market at a very quick rate.
Chinadroids serve two purposes, first they give users an OS they are relatively familiar with, second they allow content channels in China to be controlled by groups other than Google.
The DCCI warns customs that all of their data is up for grabs. Developers can swipe calling records, take over contact lists, find user locations and more. In 13.2 percent of cases the apps were taking user-location data even though the apps were not location enabled programs.
As part of its merger agreement with Motorola Mobility the team at Google agreed to leave its Google Android OS open for at least five years. As more company’s continue to push Google out of the revenue sharing model the company after that time may port Android to a closed Motorola eco-system.
The question now becomes how far China’s government will go to rectify the situation.
[Image via tested]