Title: Privacy issues in Android applications: the cases of GPS navigators and fitness trackers

Authors: Stylianos Monogios; Kyriakos Magos; Konstantinos Limniotis; Nicholas Kolokotronis; Stavros Shiaeles

Addresses: School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Open University of Cyprus, G. Kranidioti Ave., 2220, Nicosia, Cyprus ' School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Open University of Cyprus, G. Kranidioti Ave., 2220, Nicosia, Cyprus ' School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Open University of Cyprus, G. Kranidioti Ave., 2220, Nicosia, Cyprus ' Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Peloponnese, Akadimaikou G.K. Vlachou Street, 22131 Tripolis, Greece ' Cyber Security Research Group, School of Computing University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 2UP, UK

Abstract: The Android operating system constitutes a very attracting platform for developing smart applications providing various services to the users, including the field of e-governance. This provision comes along with personal data processing, which in turn raises several privacy concerns. This paper studies privacy issues in the mobile ecosystem, focusing on two important types of smart applications which process personal data to a large extent: global positioning system (GPS) navigators and fitness tracking applications. More precisely, for both types of applications, an indicative list of popular apps is being analysed through appropriate experimental environment, aiming to identify the underlying personal data processing that takes place. Our analysis illustrates that both GPS navigation apps and fitness trackers have access to several types of users data, while they may allow for personal data leakage towards third parties such as library providers or tracking services without providing always adequate or precise information to the users.

Keywords: Android system; fitness trackers; GPS navigator; privacy; profiling; third-party library.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2022.10043366

International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2022 Vol.14 No.1/2, pp.83 - 111

Received: 06 Oct 2020
Accepted: 23 Jan 2021

Published online: 30 May 2022 *

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