The article two days ago by Elinor Mills originally called “Report: A fifth of Android apps expose private data“ has been modified to reflect the actual set of circumstances, rather than the half-story revealed by Smobile Systems. Ms Mills posted the following last night:

After looking into the matter more I must humbly apologize to my readers and acknowledge that the headline is misleading and the article failed to mention that users are granting permission to the apps to access data and do other activities when they download the apps. I will be updating it shortly. I appreciate the feedback.

The article was updated to “change misleading headline and add information throughout stating that users are granting permission to apps when they download them”. See if you can pick up on the subtle difference in the headline:

  • Old headline: Report: A fifth of Android apps expose private data
  • New headline: Report says be aware of what your Android app does

Kudos to viligant readers for catching the mistake and insisting it be corrected, and to Ms. Mills for accepting responsibility. I wonder if the other outlets that jumped on the story will do the same. Sadly, there is no place for comments on the security vendor’s site.

Trackback: ZDnet

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  • Good analysis here. I did let readers down and I am sincerely sorry about that. I welcome all feedback, but accusations that I favor one platform over the other are incorrect (and prompted my initial response to the reader comment you quoted in edited form above). I’m writing a follow up story that will look more closely at the security models of the Android and iPhone. So please keep reading.
    Elinor

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