When applications request access to personal information, users accept it and trust that they will use the data they collect in a way safe. But it is very important to consider whether they trust Android VPN applications, which "clean" the device of unwanted data. The last thing you expect from an application that protects your identity is for it to leak sensitive information.
As shown in a study examining the licenses that require 81 Android VPN applications, which are available in Google Play Store, have access to the device data on a much wider scale than the user accepts.
The same team of investigators discovered that many suspected requests could jeopardize sensitive user data. From the applications studied, 31 was safe as they did not ask for "dangerous permits" by the user but 50 others were considered unsafe as they called for at least one "dangerous license", while other 8s were considered extremely unsafe as they asked for four or more "dangerous permits".
Unsurprisingly, most free applications require access to sensitive data. The same phenomenon is not observed with premiums and thus this makes them safer for users.
Of course, it should be noted that the study does not say why these Android VPN applications require access to this sensitive data, nor how they use it. Even if these requests are innocent, it is dangerous for the user to accept them because the more accessible the data, the easier it can be stolen or leaked.
How to control what your apps have accessed
To see what you have given access on your mobile apps:
- Tap and hold on the app icon or go to your mobile settings and select app manager
- Click the "empty" option to see what this application has
It is worth mentioning that the changes to licensing the application can make it non functional.