New Appthority Report Finds Tens of Thousands of Ad-Supported Apps Are Collecting Excessive Data

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Media Release: Appthority, the global leader in enterprise mobile threat protection, today released a new report that analyzed iOS apps in corporate environments and found that more than 24,000 ad-supported apps are hiding their excessive data collection in plain sight, putting mobile users and enterprises at risk.

These apps, which openly acknowledge requesting various types of user data for advertising purposes, were found in more than 70% of enterprise environments. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg as there is a much larger number of apps lurking in the enterprise that collect user data such as calendar, Bluetooth and photos—and are not upfront about their intentions.

Of the more than 2 million iOS apps scanned by Appthority, the 24,000 flagged were just the ones that openly ask users for access permission to deeper device functionality for advertising purposes. In fact, over 98% of enterprises have apps in their environments that display ads. These results suggest that data leakage from ad-supported apps is a much bigger problem than most enterprises realize.

“As a pioneer in the mobile security space, Appthority has long known that advertising within apps like Facebook is common and comes with risks, such as the leaking of users’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII),” said Seth Hardy at Appthority. “However, the Cambridge Analytica exposure made us wonder how many of these apps are directly accessing and using personal information for advertising.”

The reality is that apps that access data for advertising pose additional risks to enterprises and users compared to apps that access data solely for in-app functions. For example, ad-supported apps typically include third-party advertising libraries, which are not managed by the original app that employees trust and install. Therefore, information accessed by these advertising providers is usually not monitored or regulated by the original apps, users or by enterprises.

What’s more, ad-supported apps often access data without any real functional justification. When accessing data, mobile apps have to state a reason for wanting the access. Accessing data for in-app functions is a justifiable reason, but the iOS apps found were accessing data specifically for advertising purposes. This practice poses an important question about data access in enterprise environments: does the benefit of using the app outweigh the cost of losing control of user or enterprise data?

Because the app economy is heavily supported by ads, eliminating all apps that collect and use data for advertising from a device or enterprise environment is often not possible. But, the report also provides recommendations to users and enterprises to safeguard their data including, among others, being selective about granting permission to access data and deploying a Mobile Threat Defense solution to ensure visibility into and remediation of ad-supported and other app risks.

Register to download the full report here.

The post New Appthority Report Finds Tens of Thousands of Ad-Supported Apps Are Collecting Excessive Data appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Anyone who works in design knows the value of a good library of assets and templates. That definitely applies for WordPress, where getting designing a page can quickly add up to hours. So if you do work in WordPress, lifetime access to Visualmodo WordPress Themes is worth checking out. This deal offers access to thousands […]

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March for Our Lives protest draws hundreds of thousands of students calling for gun control

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez pauses during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC on March 24, 2018.

It was likely the largest political rally organized by people not old enough to vote.

Following a massacre at a Florida high school, hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied in major U.S. cities and across the world to protest gun violence and calling for political action from Congressional leaders.

The March for Our Lives protest brought out thousands of teenagers and young children across the country, marking an extraordinary moment in U.S. history — it was likely the largest political rally organized by people not old enough to vote.

march for our lives Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Washington, DC

Protestors gathered across almost every major U.S. city, according to organizers. Washington, the site of the main rally, prepared for up to 500,000 people, while New York saw over 150,000, according to Mayor Bill DiBlasio.

The students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were gunned down by a shooter with a high-powered rifle last month, have become key figures in the latest movement for gun control.

 Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
“March for our Lives” protesters in New York.

In particular, Stoneman student Emma Gonzalez, who has become the face of her generation’s anger toward political indecisiveness, stunned the massive gathering in Washington, D.C. as she read out the names of those who were killed at her school.

She went silent for a few minutes as the crowd, assembled within sight of the Capitol rotunda, watched.

She then spoke: “Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

But the protest is also notable for its size and its proliferation across the U.S. Here, for example, a Snapchat map showing the rallies along the East Coast:

And here are some pictures from Saturday’s rallies:

 AFP/Getty Images
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg speaks during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC.

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, showed up at the New York protest, which ran along Central Park.

“One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here so it’s important to me,” he said. Fellow Beatle John Lennon was gunned down at his residence, the Dakota, which faces Central Park West, in 1980.

march for our lives Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Paul McCartney at March for Our Lives protest in New York.

In London:

march for our lives Photo by Alex Cavendish/NurPhoto via Getty Images
“March for Our Lives” protestors in front of the U.S. Embassy in London

In Paris:

march for our lives Photo by Owen Franken – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
March for Our Lives protestors in Paris

In Brussels:

march for our lives Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images
“March for Our Lives” protesters in Brussels, Belgium.

Washington, D.C.:

march for our lives Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Washington, DC.

New York:

march for our lives Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
“March For Our Lives” protesters in New York.

Berlin:

march for our lives Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest at the “March for our Lives” gathering on March 24, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

Common performing at the rally in Washington, D.C.:

 Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage
Common performs during March For Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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Reddit says Russian propaganda was shared by ‘thousands’ ahead of the 2016 election

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Reddit didn’t find any Russian ads about the 2016 election, but there was plenty of non-ad content being shared.

It’s widely known that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were used by Russian sources during the 2016 U.S. presidential election to try and sway public opinion.

Now we know for certain that Reddit was also part of Russia’s disinformation strategy.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman posted Monday that the company is in the middle of an “ongoing investigation” into how Russian sources may have used the platform in the run-up to the 2016 election and that Reddit has “removed a few hundred accounts” that were knowingly sharing Russian propaganda.

Huffman also implied that Russian sources did not buy ads on Reddit — “All ads on Reddit are reviewed by humans” — but that “thousands” of users unknowingly shared Russian propaganda that may have first appeared on other sites, like Twitter.

Huffman says that tweets from @TEN_GOP on Twitter, a fake account run by Russians and masquerading as the Republican party of Tennessee, were “amplified by thousands of Reddit users.” That’s from just one Twitter account. There were thousands of Russian-controlled Twitter accounts tweeting Russian propaganda ahead of the election.

“Sadly, from everything we can tell, these [Reddit] users are mostly American, and appear to be unwittingly promoting Russian propaganda,” Huffman wrote. “I believe the biggest risk we face as Americans is our own ability to discern reality from nonsense, and this is a burden we all bear.”

Reddit has been very quiet about its role in the 2016 election despite public concerns from politicians that were voiced as far back as September.

Huffman says that the company is now “cooperating with Congressional inquiries,” though he didn’t say which inquiries or committees he was referring to.

In February, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals for using social media to try and support Donald Trump or discredit Hillary Clinton. Reddit was not mentioned in that indictment, but is clearly a part of the bigger story.

We’ve asked Reddit to clarify how many users may have unknowingly shared Russian propaganda in total. We’ve also asked what investigations it is “cooperating” with. We’ll update if we hear back.


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Apple reseller in Malaysia forced to cancel $50 iPhone sale when thousands of people showed up

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A Malaysian retailer, Switch, had no choice but to suspend a clearance sale that it advertised to sell off some of its demo units including iPhones between the 5S through the iPhone 7. iPad Minis, iPod Touches, iMacs, Apple TVs, and MacBooks. All in all, there was probably a total of 200 Apple units altogether, and just 10 iPhone 5S devices marked at $ 50 with very limited quantities of a sub-$ 100 iPad, a sub-$ 150 MacBook Air, and a 24-inch iMac for $ 255 (which all sound way too good to be true). The problem here was that over 11,000 people showed up, according to a Facebook post, for a…

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Recode Daily: Snapchat’s radical redesign spurred thousands of outraged teen users to online activism

Plus, Amazon lays off hundreds, Blockbuster vs. Netflix: The Podcast, and which Winter Olympics sport is best for you?

You may have noticed that today’s Recode Daily newsletter arrived in your inbox a bit later than usual. That’s because Recode’s East Coast squad of reporters and editors has flown west to join the rest of us today for Code Media in Huntington Beach, Calif. Here’s how to watch today’s interviews, including a rare appearance by Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz, live; you can catch up on who said what on Day One here. We’ll be back to our usual delivery time later this week.

Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen joined more than 700,000 people in signing an online petition calling for Snap to reverse the recent radical redesign of its Snapchat app. Last week, the company split the app into two sections, consolidating friend content on the left side, media content on the right, outraging its massive teenage user base. A fake tweet claiming that Snapchat would revert back to its old design if it got enough retweets received 1.3 million retweets as of Sunday afternoon, and has become the sixth most retweeted tweet of all time. Meanwhile, Snap’s VP of sales, Jeff Lucas, has left the company after joining less than two years ago; he’s the seventh Snap exec to leave since the company’s IPO in February 2017. [Taylor Lorenz / Daily Beast]

Amazon laid off a few hundred employees at its Seattle headquarters yesterday. It’s a rare pullback for the $ 668 billion e-commerce giant, which has more than 500,000 employees. As Amazon reaches into new industries like media, grocery retail and logistics, it is recalibrating its staffing while hiring heavily in fast-growing business units like Alexa and Amazon Web Services. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]

Facebook has resolved a dispute with Apple that prevented the social network from launching a subscription tool for publishers on iOS devices. During her appearance onstage at Code Media yesterday, Campbell Brown, head of Facebook’s news partnerships, said that a version of the paywall tool, which has already been available on Android phones, will roll out in March to Apple phones. Brown also said that Facebook plans to highlight breaking news in its Watch section, the tab on the Facebook app that houses original video. Watch the interview with Brown and News Feed head Adam Mosseri here. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

A new serial podcast called Business Wars digs into the epic corporate drama, industrial espionage and internal blood feuds that fueled the Blockbuster vs. Netflix battle for supremacy. Blockbuster was eventually forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010, roughly a decade after Netflix’s launch. Former Marketplace anchor David Brown hosts the first eight episodes. [Zach Brooke / AV Club]

Top stories from Recode

Fox didn’t overpay for its new NFL rights, says Fox exec Peter Rice.

”You either have the most-watched content on television, or you don’t have it,” Rice said yesterday at Code Media.

YouTube’s CEO would “love to stream the NFL.”

The company has bid for NFL streaming rights two years in a row. It lost both times.

Here’s why YouTube hasn’t banned Logan Paul for good.

The company has a three-strike rule. Paul doesn’t have three strikes, says CEO Susan Wojcicki.

HuffPost editor in chief Lydia Polgreen said she wouldn’t have chosen to cover President Trump as entertainment.

”I would take a different approach, personally, as a journalist.”

The founders of theSkimm and Brit + Co say they don’t need Facebook in order to thrive.

You don’t need Facebook when you have email and Pinterest.

This is cool

Which Olympic sport is best for you?


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Archeologists used lasers to discover thousands Mayan structures in Guatemala

Researchers have identified more than 60,000 previously unknown structures in northern Guatemala after extensive aerial LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) surveys. Their findings show that the region’s pre-Columbian civilization was “far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed,” according to National Geographic.

Scientists mapped more than 800 square miles of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve, and uncovered an extensive network of previously-unknown structures, quarries, farmland, and roads. Based on the data, researchers believe that the region supported an advanced civilization on par with that of ancient Greece or China, rather than a series of isolated city-states.

Tulane University archaeologist…

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Waymo orders thousands of Chrysler vans for self-driving taxi service

Waymo already turned 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans into self-driving vehicles, but apparently, those aren't enough for the company's upcoming taxi service. FCA US has revealed that it's supplying the former Google self-driving division with thousand…
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Waymo is putting ‘thousands’ more driverless minivans on roads across America


Google’s self-driving tech spinoff Waymo is set to make a big push into its trial programs for its autonomous vehicles: the company has inked a deal to buy ‘thousands’ more minivans from Fiat Chrysler, which it plans to run across several cities in the US without a human driver at the wheel. It won’t just say how many thousands, though – just that it’s ordered a large number of Chrysler Pacificas to grow its fleet that currently includes 600 minivans of the same model, and test them in the 25 cities where it’s currently trialing them. The company is said…

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Waymo strikes a deal to buy ‘thousands’ more self-driving minivans from Fiat Chrysler

Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, has reached a deal with one of Detroit’s Big Three automakers to dramatically expand its fleet of autonomous vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced today that it would supply “thousands” of additional Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Waymo, with the first deliveries starting at the end of 2018.

Neither Waymo nor FCA would disclose the specific number of vehicles that were bought, nor the amount of money that was trading hands. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan starts at $ 39,995. A thousand minivans would cost $ 40 million, so this was at the very least an eight-figure deal.

Waymo currently has 600 of FCA’s minivans in its…

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