This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: Mobile apps accused of privacy violations

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: Mobile apps accused of privacy violations

1:31 /

Playing a game like Paper Toss on your smartphone sounds like a benign activity. But now, the feds are starting to investigate makers of such applications for privacy violations--sharing your personal information without you knowing it. CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports.

-My 3 social apps, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter. -Suzy Brandon of San Francisco uses a variety of smartphone apps everyday. -Shazam's great for when I'm out and I hear a song that either I've heard and I forgot the name of. -But, like many others, Brandon is in the dark when it comes to knowing where her personal information is stored. Where do you think this information goes? -That's a good question. I don't know. -And now, a federal grand jury is trying to find out where that information is going. On Monday, Pandora, an online music service, released information that the company has been issued a subpoena related to an investigation of information sharing practices in smartphone app makers. -It's just the first of many. I think-- actually, any app that's gathering this kind of information is gonna be vulnerable. -In a report last December, the Wall Street Journal tested 101 apps and found that more than half of them sent the users' unique personal information to other companies without the users' knowledge or consent. In Pandora's case, both the Apple iPhone and Google Android versions sent their users' age, gender, location, and other personal information to several advertisers, a move that prompts some to dub smartphones as "spy phones." -You don't know what else is being collected and who else it's being shared with. -I try and be pretty vigilant about what I control. -In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com for CBS News.

New releases

Most anticipated games for Holiday...
3:03 October 31, 2014
The most sought after new titles that gamers want for the holidays.
Play video
RHA T10i: Stainless steel headphones...
2:04 October 31, 2014
The $200 RHA T10i is a great sounding in-ear headphone that's well-built and has some nice extras, including...
Play video
The XYZPrinting da Vinci 1.0 AiO...
3:00 October 31, 2014
CNET editor Dong Ngo demonstrates how well the XYZPrinting da Vinci 1.0 AiO 3D printer can replicate a 3D...
Play video
Verizon-exclusive Sony Experia...
2:35 October 31, 2014
If you've been craving Sony's Xperia Z3, this sleek alternative comes close but is a little different: it...
Play video
Amazon Fire Phone burns on
2:54 October 31, 2014
Amazon hasn't given up on the Fire Phone, Facebook makes it easy to mask your identity with Tor, and the Starbucks...
Play video
The 404 Show 1,574: Halloween episode,...
26:08 October 31, 2014
It's an ultra-creepy episode of The 404 today -- way creepier than normal. Will Seth Rogen play Steve Wozniak?...
Play video
Skylink's boring security system...
2:37 October 31, 2014
This low-cost, DIY smart setup offers basic security without monthly fees
Play video
Everything you need to know about...
2:05 October 31, 2014
Google's Android Wear software is cropping up on a host of smartwatches. But what exactly is Android Wear...
Play video