Analysis of Longitudinal Changes in Privacy Behavior of Android Applications

by   Alexander Yu, et al.

Privacy concerns have long been expressed around smart devices, and the concerns around Android apps have been studied by many past works. Over the past 10 years, we have crawled and scraped data for almost 1.9 million apps, and also stored the APKs for 135,536 of them. In this paper, we examine the trends in how Android apps have changed over time with respect to privacy and look at it from two perspectives: (1) how privacy behavior in apps have changed as they are updated over time, (2) how these changes can be accounted for when comparing third-party libraries and the app's own internals. To study this, we examine the adoption of HTTPS, whether apps scan the device for other installed apps, the use of permissions for privacy-sensitive data, and the use of unique identifiers. We find that privacy-related behavior has improved with time as apps continue to receive updates, and that the third-party libraries used by apps are responsible for more issues with privacy. However, we observe that in the current state of Android apps, there has not been enough of an improvement in terms of privacy and many issues still need to be addressed.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


Are iPhones Really Better for Privacy? Comparative Study of iOS and Android Apps

While many studies have looked at privacy properties of the Android and ...

You can't always get what you want: towards user-controlled privacy on Android

Mobile applications (hereafter, apps) collect a plethora of information ...

A Dataset of Android Libraries

Android app developers extensively employ code reuse, integrating many t...

Hidden in Plain Sight: Exploring Encrypted Channels in Android apps

As privacy features in Android operating system improve, privacy-invasiv...

Saudi Parents' Security and Privacy Concerns about their Children's Smart Device Applications

In this paper, we investigate Saudi parents' security and privacy concer...

How Private is Android's Private DNS Setting? Identifying Apps by Encrypted DNS Traffic

DNS over TLS (DoT) and DNS over HTTPS (DoH) promise to improve privacy a...

Controlling Interactions with Libraries in Android Apps Through Runtime Enforcement

Android applications are executed on smartphones equipped with a variety...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset