A look into the information your smartphone leaks

Mobile applications (APPs) are highly integrated in our daily life. Users benefit from the services that they provide. However, some APPs also pose a risk to users’ personal information. Incidents of APPs leaking information stored in smartphones illustrate the danger that they present. In this paper, we investigate the amount of personal information leaked during the installation and use of APPs when accessing the Internet. We have opted for the implementation of a Man-in-the-Middle proxy to intercept the network traffic generated by 20 popular free APPs installed on different smartphones of distinctive vendors. This work describes the technical considerations and requirements for the deployment of the monitoring WiFi network employed during the conducted experiments. The presented results show that numerous mobile and personal unique identifiers, along with personal information are leaked by several of the evaluated APPs, commonly during the installation process.