Big Brother may not be tracking you, but your smartphone is. A Wall Street Journal investigation examined 101 leading apps, and found that more than half were breaching users' privacy and leaking personal information to companies: 56 sent the phone's unique device ID, 47 conveyed the phone's location, and five transmitted age, gender, or other personal data. The findings reveal the extent to which online-tracking companies are going to "flesh out detailed dossiers" on us, notes the Journal.
In its tests, the Journal found that iPhone apps gave up more data than those on phones that used Google's Android OS, but notes that the test's size was small, so the pattern may not hold. Among the worst offenders: Pandora and text messaging app TextPlus 4 both sent out age and gender information—though both maintain the data isn't linked to users' names. Though Apple and Google both say apps must get permission before disseminating personal info, the Journal found apps are able to skirt the rules anyway, and noted that in most cases, app users are unable to opt out of phone tracking. Click to read the entire, detailed piece.