PrivacyGrade Analyzes Android Apps and Rates their Privacy Level
Article by George Norman
On 18 Nov 2014
Visit the PrivacyGrade.org website and see if the Android app you want to install on your smartphone gets an A or a D rating for privacy.

Privacy Grade analyzes Android apps, looks at their privacy-related behaviors, and then gives them a grade. If an app takes privacy seriously, it gets an A or even an A+. If it doesn’t, it gets a B, a C, or even a dreaded D.

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PrivacyGrade is an interesting project started by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University. The researchers created a privacy model that measures the gap between what people expect from an app’s behavior and how the app actually behaves. If an app wants to access your location data for example but you wouldn’t expect it to need access to such data, then the app gets a penalty to its overall privacy grade.

“The goal of PrivacyGrade.org is to help raise awareness of the behaviors that many smartphone apps have that may affect people’s privacy. PrivacyGrade provides detailed information about an app's privacy-related behaviors. We summarize these behaviors in the form of a grade, ranging from A+ (most privacy sensitive) to D (least privacy sensitive).” That's the answer provided by the FAQ section on PrivacyGrade.org in response to the question “What is PrivacyGrade.org?”

Selected apps, most popular apps, most popular apps with controversial grades, apps with most 3rd party libraries, and apps with most targeted ads libraries are listed on PrivacyGrade.org.

At the top on the PrivacyGrade.org website there’s a handy search box that lets you search for any Android app you want. Unified Remote is one of my favorite Android apps. So I entered the query “Unified Remote” into the search box and thus I found out that the app gets an A privacy rating.



I liked that the Unified Remote analysis page nicely presents the app’s description and the sensitive permissions used by the app.






Tags: Google, Android, apps, PrivacyGrade, privacy
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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