We’ve all been hearing about companies and developers not respecting your privacy and siphoning off details about you to their databases. To be fair, many of these apps are free so they have to make money somehow but they should be a bit more forthcoming about their practices. Since we know things will only get worse though, here is a proactive solution to help you see exactly what you are sharing. From the product description:
“Privacy Inspector is the lite version of Privacy Blocker. Privacy Inspector reveals all your apps dirty secrets that steal your personal information. Find out what your apps don’t want you to know in seconds today!
Privacy Inspector is the only app that can fully lookout for apps that steal your private information and may be harmful. It is unlike any other app in that it can actually scan through other apps code to find privacy issues. No other app can do this on Android! This is what sets Privacy Inspector apart from other apps that claim protection.
After scanning for potential violations, Privacy Inspector will give you details about issues within your app(s). Have you ever felt uncomfortable downloading an app that needs a permission it shouldn’t have? Now find out what is inside the app and more.
Get the security you need that other apps like Anti-Virus Pro, Lookout Mobile Security, McAfee WaveSecure can’t find.
Privacy Blocker is the only way to fully protect you and stop apps from gathering your personal information. Privacy Blocker reveals all your apps dirty secrets and then safely fixes them so you can still use your apps with an assurance of full protection. Keep your device safe and your personal information secure today!”
Privacy Inspector is available in the main Android marketplace in two versions. There is a free version that will scan all your apps and tell you the problems it finds. That will at least allow you to decide whether the data you are leaking to them is a fair trade for use of the app. The paid version allows you to fix/mitigate the issues that you find. I’m not entirely sure how they do this since I haven’t used or purchased that version but I will probably check it out at a later date.
For now, I snagged the free app and scanned through a few apps. The results were a little surprising to me. Google Earth came up spotless for instance and the free version of Angry Birds has two issues and is rated “bad”. The user interface is fairly attractive but I found it to be a little confusing at first. It didn’t take long to figure it out but it could be a little more straight forward. My other complaint is that you can only queue up 5 apps at a time to scan and the scanning process can take a few minutes per app.
I hope to see more apps like this and I can only hope that someone will produce something similar for the iOS platform (assuming Apple would allow for it). The only problem with that is that this is exactly the type of app that nefarious individuals will be providing fake versions of.
Here is the link to Privacy Inspector