Apps multibillion dollar time bomb

Applications or apps for short – whether they are for cell phones, smartphones or tablets have never been more popular; with even President Obama ordering government agencies to start developing them. With this popularity has come great wealth and Apple’s App Store alone generates $5.4m a day from the top 200 apps and has seen over 63,000 new apps added this year alone (according to market research firm Distimo), from developers looking to make it big and become the next Instagram or Rovio. With so many applications available; many developers are taking too many liberties and short cuts that could potentially develop into a multibillion dollar problem for both themselves and their consumers.

The heart of this problem is security; or rather the lack of it. Developers are so desperate to make it big they are either gathering detailed personal data on consumers devices without their knowledge (as has been found with Path, LinkedIn, Carrier IQ) and MobClix (part of Velti))or else they are developing their apps without any privacy or security features (as was discovered by market research firm ALLOW in six of the top 20 most popular iPad finance apps). While both Apple and Google have best practises for app makers to follow when it comes to user data, neither screen the apps they offer before they are available for download and it’s almost impossible for consumers to tell what’s hidden inside the apps.

It may seem alarmist to worry what developers are doing with consumers data, especially since the intention behind gathering the data can be as innocent as wanting to develop more targeted apps or advertising; the problem with apps gathering data or having no security features is that its relatively easy for another developer to steal this data and use it for identity theft.

In 2011 in the US alone, over $37 billion was lost due to identity theft and it affected 1 in 25 Americans according to research firm Javelin. With some apps been downloaded tens and hundreds of millions of times, its not inconceivable to say that some of the biggest IT companies are just one rogue developer away from being implemented in a major class action suit not seen since the days of big tobacco.

16 comments

  1. Deusa June 19, 2012

    great.

  2. Amália June 20, 2012

    thank you again!

  3. Cailane June 20, 2012

    please when you’re posting, do it carefully not to say the wrong thing.

  4. Denísia June 21, 2012

    cool post thanks!

  5. Camila June 21, 2012

    well done.

  6. James June 22, 2012

    Apple DOES screen apps before allowing them on app store!

  7. Edeolinda June 27, 2012

    i am glad to read this post, its an interesting one. i am always searching for quality posts and articles and this is what i found here, i hope you will be adding more in future. thanks,

  8. John June 30, 2012

    The problem with apps from the Apple’s app store is that while they may be fine, most don’t have any security features. It means that any data they have from you directly or indirectly can be stolen by unethical software.

  9. Dalva July 3, 2012

    this post is so interesting, when i find some free time i will read all the others.

  10. Alani July 11, 2012

    this is great news.

  11. Edinaura July 14, 2012

    it is very good to know there are still some good blogs.

  12. Daline July 14, 2012

    it’s my first time visiting here. and i found so many entertaining stuff in this blog, especially its discussion.

  13. Camila July 16, 2012

    very useful content. thanks.

  14. Cleópatra July 16, 2012

    great post. keep it up.

  15. Cariana July 17, 2012

    thanks for sharing.

  16. Claudeci July 22, 2012

    would you mind writing more posts about this subject?


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