Google Play Store Content Curation Flop, Well, Thousands of Flops

September 20, 2021

Google does collect user personal information for targeted ads, but more than 19000 apps in the Google Play Store could violate user privacy. The Daily Hunt shares the warning in the article: “Alert! More Than 19000 Apps On Google Play Store Could Leak Your Personal Data-Check Details.”

Digital security company Avast discovered that over 19000 apps hosted on the Google Play Store could leak user data and risk the phone’s security. Avast said the apps leak information, because there is a misconfiguration in the Firebase data. Android developers use Firebase to store user data. Avast reported the problem to Google, so it can notify app developers.

Most of the apps affected are:

“The apps that could be facing the issue are mostly related to lifestyle, gaming, food delivery and email, among others, the firm said, adding that users in Europe, South-East Asia and Latin America region are likely to have been impacted by it. More than 10 percent of 180,300 publicly available Firebase instances were found to be open by researchers at the Avast Threat Labs, which means that apps users’ data in those cases have been exposed to the public.”

User information is waiting to be stolen. Hopefully Google and Android app developers will fix the Firebase misconfiguration quickly so information is stolen by bad actors.

Whitney Grace, September 20, 2021

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