Update: Headline change to reflect that SMobile says it isn't criticizing the Android model
About 20 percent of the 48,000 apps in the Android marketplace allow a third-party application access to sensitive or private information, according to a report released on Tuesday.
Some of the apps were found to have the ability to do things like make calls and send text messages without the mobile user doing anything. For instance, five percent of the apps can place calls to any number and two percent can allow an app to send unknown SMS messages to premium numbers that incur expensive charges, security firm SMobile Systems concluded in its Android market threat report. SMobile is not saying those apps are all malicious, but is making the point that there is a potential for abuse.
Meanwhile, dozens of apps were found to have the same type of access to sensitive information as known spyware does, including access to the content of emails and text messages, phone call information, and device location, said Dan Hoffman, chief technology officer at SMobile Systems.
For more on this story, read Report says be aware of what your Android app does on CNET News.