Researchers say that Google is ‘cashing in’ by offering spy apps that help stalkers keep track of a victim via their smartphone.
According to a report in The Times, there are more than 3,000 spy apps in Google’s Play Store with subscriptions of up to £30 a month for installing the technology on a target phone.
Google takes between 15% and 30% on all purchases made in Play Store.
The apps reveal the phone’s GPS location, the call logs, text messages and give access to its microphone and camera.
Researchers in the US reveal there are 3,450 apps that are capable of tracking the user’s movements with 500 apps available on Apple’s App Store.
Since the research was published, Google has now stopped adverts appearing when searches for abuse-related terms are carried out and it’s removed a number of apps for violating its policies.
Researchers say there are still nearly 3,500 apps capable of spying that remain.
Football fans warned over World Cup cyber security
With the World Cup starting in Russia, football fans are being warned about their use of public and hotel Wi-Fi and consider how they secure their personal data.
The National Cyber Security Centre says football fans should keep their smartphones on them at all times with fears that Russian agencies may try to access personal data or carry out a cyber-attack.
In a blog, the NCSA says that anti-virus software and all apps should be up-to-date and backed up before heading for the football tournament.
They say that devices should always be protected with passwords and for important accounts have two step of authentication enabled.
Phone-to-phone AR to debut
Industry watchers say that Apple is about to debut the tools that will enable two iPhone users to share augmented reality while limiting the amount of personal data being sent to servers.
Using similar technology to that used in Pokemon Go, the augmented reality would enable the viewer to see a virtual structure being superimposed on their surroundings on a smartphone and other devices.
The market could become big business and Apple last year released tools that enable software developers to create AR apps.
In other mobile phone app news …
Public Health England has launched a new Active 10 app aimed at encouraging adults to become more active. The app encourages users to build a 10 minute brisk walk into their daily routine.
Research from consumer magazine Which? found that Internet connected appliances are collecting huge amounts of data worth a fortune to corporations who are surveilling people in their home. Most of the devices using apps ask for permission to access other items including photos and cameras with questions over some including a smartwatch that wanted to reboot a user’s phone and a vacuum cleaner that wanted to record audio on the user’s smartphone.
Researchers in Australia are calling into question the effectiveness of health apps currently available and point to one Swedish government app that was created to curb drinking among young people but led to them drinking more. The researchers from Queensland’s Bond University found that only one app worked – it’s called Get Happy.
Brits are being urged to tackle the slave trade when they visit a car hand wash by using a free mobile phone app if they have any fears for those working there. The app has been launched by the Catholic Church and the Church of England.