The whole security and privacy circus that started a few months back when researchers found out that the iPhone was sending location and other data to a central location has certainly woken up the interest of security experts world wide. The most recent cases as we have seen are holes in HTC’s devices, all of which are bring addressed by HTC themselves with our help. However, there seem to be more than just devices doing this. As it turns out, and thanks to a tip from XDA member Fnorder, one of the most popular browsers for Android seems to be doing something similar as well. If you are a regular user of Dolphin, you have likely noticed the introduction of a new feature called webzines on this app. This feature basically is an aid to help the browser deliver content that may be of interest to you based on your usage patterns. Well, as it turns out, in order to do this, this service takes the liberty of sending every single piece of information that you access and search for on the browser to a certain location. No matter what you look for, all your search history and browsing history is stored somewhere.
I understand that there are companies that are into data mining and data collection for statistical purposes, and even for customer support, but this is beginning to get annoying. No matter what we do or where we look into, we will always be at the mercy of these companies which seem to have their sights on us, with dollar signs in their eyes. We need to take some sort of initiative to fight this. Why? Not because it bothers me that they collect my information, but because 9 out of every 10 companies that do, do it insecurely with poor coding in the security department.
At this point, I suggest that if you know of any app that you believe may be sending your information elsewhere for some reason, let someone who can disect it take a look and make sure that this information is, at the very least being relayed securely to its destination.
What are your thoughts on this? Do to think that xda can help the industry by finding exploits? We are making headway with HTC on this frontier and I believe that we could turn this into a marketwide initiative to help end users ensure that their privacy is preserved. Please share your thoughts.
If it weren’t for things like this, I’d still be a fan of Dolphin Browser.
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Thanks FadeFx for the tip!_________
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