Apps spy on phone messages

Robin Henry and Cal Flyn :

ompanies are using smartphone apps to extract vast quantities of private information about users’ lives, in some cases reading their text messages and intercepting calls.

Among those that admitted reading text messages this weekend was the internet giant Facebook, which said it was accessing the information as part of a trial to launch its own messaging service.

Companies ranging from Facebook and Apple to small operations run by individuals gain access to the treasury of data when people agree to the terms and conditions of downloading an app.

The terms and conditions often go unread, leaving users unaware that they have authorised access to their private information. According to a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times, 70% rarely or never read T&Cs when downloading apps.