INDIANAPOLIS — A new study finds privacy settings on some of the most popular apps can be misleading, and you might be sharing more personal information that you know.
The study by the Mozilla Foundation examined the new privacy settings for apps on the Google Play Store. Overall, 80% of apps had privacy policies the study found misleading. About 40% of apps, including Facebook, Twitter and Minecraft received a “poor” rating. About 37%, including Youtube, Gmail and Google Maps, received a “needs improvement” rating. Only 15% of apps, including Candy Crush Saga and Google Play Games, received an “okay” rating.
While apps may say they don’t share users information with third parties, Mozilla says you might be letting them do just that.
“Does the weather app really need access to your camera and phone?” one researcher asked. “Does a game for kids really need your precise location?”
In the Google Play Store, researchers recommend you go to each app, click on “about this app,” then scroll all the way down to the “permissions” section. Then you can decide what specific things you’re comfortable sharing.
Fortunately, Google’s new system software makes it easier to review these settings under the “Security and Privacy” section of settings. On Apple devices, there’s an entire section in settings about permissions where users can review those settings for each app.
One thing to keep in mind; Google does not accept responsibility for what individual apps in the Google Play Store allow and report.