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EVERY time you purchase an app on Google Play, your name, address and email is passed on to the devs


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 EVERY time you purchase an app on Google Play, your name, address and email is passed on to the devs
topic by SeattleWon - 02-13-2013, 08:41 PM


The "flaw" - which appears to be by design - was discovered this morning by Sydney app developer, Dan Nolan who told news.com.au that he was uncomfortable being the custodian of this information and that there was no reason for any developer to have this information at their finger tips.
You may remember Mr Nolan as the creator of the Paul Keating insult generator all that hit number one in the Aussie App Store last month."
"Let me make this crystal clear, every App purchase you make on Google Play gives the developer your name, suburb and email address with no indication that this information is actually being transferred," Nolan wrote on his blog.
"With the information I have available to me through the checkout portal I could track down and harass users who left negative reviews or refunded the app purchase."
Harrassment aside, the problems posed by malware - "virus" programs that infect your phone, or computer and steal your personal details - are far more serious.
With Google customers' details just sitting in developers accounts, all it would take is a half decent piece of malware software for that information to be accessed. These personal details could then be used to access the users' bank details. That's also more than enough information to be able to access your other devices which could also be mined for more data - insurance information, other credit cards - which could then be used to access your banking credentials.
Mr Nolan told News.com.au that tens of millions of Google customers could be affected.
"As far as I can tell this impacts every person who purchased an App on the Play Store," he said.
"I can't see any way to opt out of providing that information and it seems to be a feature of the Google checkout process. I don't know whether it applies to free apps, but there are hundreds of thousands of apps that are available for pay on the play store and there are millions of people who buy Android apps out there, I'd say easily millions or tens of millions of people.
"It's active in every market that Google accepts payment for apps. That's a lot of people having their personal information handed over without them knowing."
Mr Nolan told News.com.au that user information has always been provided to developers, "as far as he could tell and that the reason it hadn't been discovered until now was because the people who would have paid attention to it were likely exploiting it and selling users' personal information, it using it as an extra source of revenue on top of what they were making off their Google Play / Android app.
"In comparison to the information you get from Apple which is just a quantity of sales in a Country and then a cheque three months later, this is absolutely absurd," he said.
"I doubt anyone expects to have their contact information, name and suburb sent to a developer purely because they decide to buy an app off the Play Store. "
Google's terms of service state that it may store your personal information including your name, address and billing details, but nowhere in its privacy statement does the company explicitly state that it passes on your personal information to developers, every time you purchase their app.
The terms of service state that Google will share your address and personal information if you purchase a magazine subscription through Google Play, but it makes no mention of other apps.
"This is a massive oversight by Google," Nolan wrote on his blog.
"Under no circumstances should I be able to get the information of the people who are buying my apps unless they opt into it and its made crystal clear to them that Im getting this information. This is a massive, massive privacy issue Google. Fix it. Immediately."
Google has not responded to news.com.au's request for comment.
UPDATE: This story has been amended at the request of Google.
Read more: Google 'flaw' puts users' details on display | Information, Gadgets, Mobile Phones News & Reviews | News.com.au


22 comments for "EVERY time you purchase an app on Google Play, your name, address and email is passed on to the devs"


 02-13-2013, 09:04 PMaway - #2
bnw99 12 heat pts12

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well damn
 02-13-2013, 09:06 PMaway - #3
MagicOnTheTire 5 heat pts

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$1,573 | 8017020
Paying for apps?
Where they do dat at?
 02-13-2013, 09:10 PMaway - #4
Barcode 5 heat pts

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$2,689 | 10510768
goes to google.
types app name + .apk
finds app.
downloads.
 02-13-2013, 09:13 PMaway - #5
NBA Brawler 87 heat pts87

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Originally Posted by MagicOnTheTire
Paying for apps?
Where they do dat at?
Originally Posted by Barcode
goes to google.
types app name + .apk
finds app.
downloads.


 02-13-2013, 09:19 PMaway - #6
.amberlamps. 13 heat pts13

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Originally Posted by Barcode
goes to google.
types app name + .apk
finds app.
downloads.
better hope that download wasn't injected with something
 02-14-2013, 02:22 AMaway - #7
varcitykid 6 heat pts

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Originally Posted by Barcode
goes to google.
types app name + .apk
finds app.
downloads.
You just put me on
 02-14-2013, 03:13 AMaway - #8
One Gud Cide 22 heat pts22

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Originally Posted by Barcode
goes to google.
types app name + .apk
finds app.
downloads.
enjoy your malware dummy now your name, address, and email is passed to a billion chinese people. you gotta be dumb as #### to download random apk files from sources you don't know
 02-14-2013, 10:47 AMaway - #9
XxHeAtMaKeRxX 25 heat pts25

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 02-14-2013, 11:39 AMaway - #10
invaderchin 141 heat pts141

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i can know more if i want.

Peep my app. No ad's and its free (for now).

Just for the lolz.

 02-14-2013, 11:50 AMaway - #11
Barcode 5 heat pts

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Originally Posted by One Gud Cide
enjoy your malware dummy now your name, address, and email is passed to a billion chinese people. you gotta be dumb as #### to download random apk files from sources you don't know
Obviously I dont just download from any link.
I gotta rotation of a couple sites I use now.

But yeah disclaimer, be careful where you
download files from. If you just started using
the internet yesterday I dont suggest you
do it. Use your discretion.
 02-14-2013, 12:12 PMaway - #12
yaobabydaddy 

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Originally Posted by Barcode
Obviously I dont just download from any link.
I gotta rotation of a couple sites I use now.

But yeah disclaimer, be careful where you
download files from. If you just started using
the internet yesterday I dont suggest you
do it. Use your discretion.
Wusup Brodie pm ya boy a site or 2 onetime tho
 02-14-2013, 12:26 PMaway - #13
stalyon2004 9 heat pts

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Originally Posted by yaobabydaddy
Wusup Brodie pm ya boy a site or 2 onetime tho
Need some myself too. Just got the S3 and factory reset my old phone. But my son always asking for my phone to play games on it. Didnt think about leaving my old phone the way it was, so he can still play the games on there.
 02-14-2013, 05:09 PMaway - #14
Scoop24 15 heat pts15

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Mobilism was my spot when i had a android .
 02-14-2013, 05:18 PMaway - #15
Deniro732 5 heat pts

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Originally Posted by NBA Brawler


 02-15-2013, 12:55 AMaway - #16
white-chocolate 109 heat pts109

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purchase apps.. yes i do
 02-15-2013, 05:24 AMaway - #17
servesurite 30 heat pts30

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Originally Posted by Barcode
goes to google.
types app name + .apk
finds app.
downloads.
 02-15-2013, 07:03 AMaway - #18
Eddie..|M 8 heat pts

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$15,667 | POWERFUL
yall be scouring the net, and dl viruses just to avoid paying a dollar
 02-15-2013, 07:33 AMaway - #19
saisai31 7 heat pts

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Aptoide
 02-15-2013, 11:46 AMaway - #20
Dillinger805 4 heat pts

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a p k m a n i a ?? but i do purchase apps when i feel are great use to me but for some reason games i just dont like paying haha i never keep them on phone longer then a few weeks,my tablet has most of the games i do play from time to time
 

 



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