free apps used to spy on millions of phones: flashlight program can be used to secretly record location of phone and content of text messages
Many flashlight apps that allow devices to be used as flashlights also secretly record the most sensitive personal information.
This may include the location of the phone, the details of the owner of the phone and its contacts, and even the content of the text message.
Experts say scroll down to watch the video and then transfer the data to market research companies and advertising companies to track users\' shopping habits.
But it is also suspected that criminal gangs, hackers and identity thieves have developed their own torch app to get personal data from consumers that can give them access to bank accounts.
The most popular flashlight app for Android smartphones has been downloaded tens of millions of times.
They include super-
Bright LED flashlight, the brightest free flashlight and the small LED flashlight.
However, according to the US network company, few customers realize that many programs have far more functions than turning on the phone.
Gary Miliefsky, founder of security company SnoopWall, gave advice to the US government.
Written warnings that pass data to third parties are buried in lengthy terms and conditions, which are rarely read.
Mr. Mili efsky said: \"We are all victims of installing many apps on smartphones and tablets that do more than the services they should provide.
We opened Pandora\'s box to online predators, cybercriminals and spies through these apps we stupidly trusted.
\"This threat does not apply
Install a flashlight on Apple\'s iphone.
This warning should remind us that if an app is free, its business model may include data on selling customers, technical experts say.
S. Regulatory agency, the Federal Trade Commission, last year supported complaints about a flashlight app that did not tell customers that the information it received was being passed on to advertisers.
S. Software designer Goldenshores Technologies has deployed \"deceptive practices\" and data has been passed on even if the user chooses to opt out, the agency said.
Privacy activists in the UK last night called for more stringent scrutiny.
Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch, said: \"Very few of us would expect an app to have access to our contact list, SMS or location data, however, that\'s what many of them do.
You need to know more about how to protect your device and the data on it.
\"There is also a huge concern that the security of these applications is usually very lax, and anyone who has the slightest understanding of how they work can access data from them.
Google, who is behind the scenes for Android (Android) and online stores that offer apps, said: \"We will not comment on individual apps, but we will remove those violations
Nicolas Ananiev, the Bulgarian software developer who made the small flashlight app, said: \"My app has no access to personal data and I believe most other flashlight apps are the same as mine.
But there are a few exceptions to a huge list of \"permissions\" that I can hardly explain.
On Sunday, the email did not reach a response from other app designers.
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