Your free Android apps talk to thousands of ad sites


Android figurines

If you’ve used ad-sponsored Android apps, you’ve probably wondered where those ads are coming from, and whether or not there’s anything to be worried about. According to French researchers, you have a reason to be cautious. They’ve found a way to automatically scan Android apps for connections to advertising and user tracking sites, and some of those programs are more than a little dodgy. A selection of 2,000 free Google Play apps connected to a whopping 250,000 sites spread over 2,000 domains. Most of them talk to only a handful of sites (Google’s ad services dominate the top 10), but 10 percent connect to 500 or more — one egregious offender links to over 2,000 sites. Only 30 percent of the apps talked to user tracking sites, but some of those were communicating with 800 or more addresses.

The actual danger to your phone isn’t likely to be high. Only…

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