There are a lot of things you assume when purchasing a product. Among these are that you’re supporting the developer, bought a copy to remove advertising, and also that you’re not going to be spied on after plunking down your dollars.
Unfortunately, the last bit doesn’t seem to be the case for many apps as a brief review of Amazon’s free apps of the day will show you.
I’m focusing on Amazon’s free apps of the day because the rating system allows useful ratings to filter to the top as opposed to Google Play where you’re just as likely to read a review published by a cat walking across a keyboard as you are to read anything useful.
It seems a band of people have taken to decompiling or examining the free apps for spyware kits and posting the results as a review on Amazon shortly after the previously paid-for apps become free.
A glance at several recent free apps of the day, which are applications you normally would pay for but are being offered with no charge by Amazon shows a steady increases in apps that bundle spyware on top of charging you to use them.
In many cases you’re paying a developer to steal information from you and resell it to the highest bidder. In some cases it’s just coding has left the free and the paid for app with elements of data mining kits in them, but that seems to be rare.
So make sure if you’re buying an app from Amazon to check the reviews as the most helpful will probably list if it’s got spyware kits included, and if you’re getting it anywhere else check the permissions.
There’s no case I can think of where you’d want to pay a developer for their work and allow them to spy on you on the backend. It’s hard enough to get people to pay $0.99 for an app that’s worth it without contending with a bunch of competing apps that steal information from you.