Popular App, Popular Data
- Posted by Makayla Shaffer
- On August 25, 2023
- 0 Comments
There are millions of apps in the world right now. Some are safe and useful, some look useful but are actually being used to collect data from you. Recently there were two apps discovered in the Google Play Store that look like organization apps but collect more data than you know.
The apps, named File Recovery and Data Recovery, and File Manager, were flagged by the mobile security solutions company Pradeo. The apps claim that they do not collect data from the user, but the behavioral analysis engine from Pradeo discovered they do in fact take quite a bit of data. Both apps take users’ contact list, connected email accounts, and social networks, as well as real-time user location, mobile country code, network provider name and more. A list of data taken can be found on the BleepingComputer post here. While some of this data is collected to keep the app running smoothly, it is not all necessary for it. The data is also collected without the users knowledge or consent.
The File Recovery and Data Recovery app had approximately 1 million installs, while the File Manager had about 500,000 installs. The home screen icons for the apps are hidden, making the removal of the apps more difficult. Both apps are under names that make it difficult to search for them as well. File Recovery and Data Recovery is named “com.spot.music.filedate” while File Manager is “com.file.box.master.gkd”. It is possible for both apps to launch without the user interacting with them and collect data.
Google has shared that the apps have been removed as mentioned in a statement to BleepingComputer, which can be found in an update to their blog here. It is always good practice to look over customer reviews before opening an app. Check how man installs there are and compare that to the number of reviews. If there is a large number of downloads, and no reviews, the app may not be safe. If you download an app you don’t recognize, and start to have problems, don’t be afraid to seek help. We can help diagnose problems, just contact us here!