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CNET News Video: Mobile apps accused of privacy violations
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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.

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