That free service comes at a price, Veracode found. Researchers who took apart the application and studied its code found libraries for five different ad networks embedded in the Pandora application. Those libraries collected and trasmitted a variety of different data from the Android phone and its owner. The data included both the owner’s GPS location and tidbits the owners gender, birthday and postal code information. There was evidence that the app attempted to provide continuous location monitoring – which would tell advertisers not just where the user accessed the application from, but also allow them to track that user’s movement over time.
I tend to overreact when it comes to privacy concerns, but I think this represents a legitimate concern for everyone in the era of free mobile apps. While the developer might not give up personal data maliciously or even knowingly, advertisers who offer up software packages to developers for ad placement might be slightly more nefarious. App developers should be cautious as to what info their apps are divulging, and consumers should realize that “free” doesn’t always mean “free”. You might be giving up a lot more personal info than you think.