Researchers Developing Android App to Track Other Apps

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 10.24.00 PMAndroid users who are wary of being traced and tracked will be happy to know that researchers at Rutgers University are creating an app to notify users of tracking by other apps. It won’t be ready for another two months, but the results have been an eye-opener for users.

In a statement to MIT Technology Review, Rutgers assistant professor, Janne Lindqvists said, “People were really surprised that some apps were accessing their location, or how often some apps were accessing their location.”

The researchers developed the app and tested it in a four-week field study where some participants were notified and others were not. Of those notified, almost all were shocked to discover which apps were tracking their locations. Overall, users were very appreciative of the transparency features of the notifications, most of which were not currently available to Android users.

iPhone users with Jailbroken phones can also track apps tracking them by downloading Protect My Privacy’s app, another research project that’s analyzing the amount of privacy data apps are eating up.