We broke the news the other night about AVG releasing an antivirus suite for Windows Phone. The app seemed harmless enough (and borderline useless to boot), only being able to manually scan photos and music files, while also offering "safe URL" web surfing.
Having a useless app is one thing, having an app that can potentially do some mischievous shenanigans is another. Its the latter that AVG is being accused of. Yes folks, AVG's app for Windows Phone may be spyware--that's irony.
Justin Angel broke down the app, did some analysis on it and found it is improperly using the Geo Location (GeoCoordinateWatcher) to track the phone and send all possible identifying information (phone make, model, your email address, location) onto AVG. For what purpose? Over at Centurion's Blog, he breaks it down to four possible uses:
- Quality assurance
- Info is sent to their Android app
- Geo info is used for location based search
- Collected data is used for marketing purposes
Whichever the reason, nonee of them benefit you, meaning that this app has gone from questionable value to not-recommended at all. Furthermore, Microsoft's Brandon Watson is taking a look at the app too to see if it violates any of the Marketplace guidelines. Stay tuned...
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.