Alibaba owned mobile web browser UC Browser reportedly leaks sensitive user information and is a privacy risk according to a Canadian technology research group called Citizen Lab, reports The Huffington Post. The Citizen Lab research was prompted by a document leaked by Edward Snowden. The report mentions that the Chinese and English editions of the Android version of the browser makes user data like location, search details, network operator and even mobile device identifier numbers like the IMEI number easily available to third parties. This is so because a lot of sensitive data is transmitted without proper encryption. Some of these mentioned in the Citizen Lab report are: - User search queries are sent without encryption to the search engine Shenma (in the Chinese language version) or Yahoo! India and Google (in the English language version). - User data, including IMSI, IMEI, Android ID, and Wi-Fi MAC address are sent without encryption to Umeng, an Alibaba analytics tool, in the Chinese language version. - User geolocation data, including longitude/latitude and street name, are transmitted without encryption by AMAP, an Alibaba mapping tool, in the Chinese language version. Why is this of concern? That's because anyone with access to data traffic, which includes the telecom operator, can easily identify users and their devices and subsequently collect personal data. Another cause for concern is that a part of the personal user data (in the form of DNS lookups) remains within the application even when users clear the application's cache. It's worth noting that an…
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