THE VKONTAKTE APP WAS CAUGHT ON SPYING
A mobile application for the VKontakte Russian social network has been collecting users' personal data and sending them to servers of the Mail.Ru Group holding, which owns the social network. This was reported by the Vedomosti newspaper, referring to the programmer Vladislav Velyuga, who has analyzed the app's work.
It was found out, that the VK app examines the list of programs installed on a device, collects information about a user's location and stores a device's list of connection points to Wi-Fi. The Mail Ru also receives information about a mobile operator that serves the device and about the identification numbers of the SIM card and a mobile phone.
In its turn the VK administration permits the app can collect some personal data from users devices, explaining this as measures to improve the app's work. They claim that a sim-card ID in required to find out whether a user has changed the phone and whether to send him a validation code.
To collect information, the public module myTracker is used. Information is sent to Mail.Ru Group in an impersonal form, therefore, according to representatives of VKontakte, they can not be considered as personal data. Holding redirects social network results in an encrypted form.
Recall, on may this year, Ukraine's President has signed a decree enacting the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine “On Application of Personal Special Economic and Other Restrictive Measures (Sanctions).” According to it, among other, a number of Russian media and web resouces have been bloced in Ukraine. In particular the VK, Odnoklasnicky social networks as well as the Mail.ru and Yandex web resources. Previously, many oppinions had been sounded that Russian inteligence has been using the above noted internet services to collect nessesary information in Ukraine.
In late May, the SBU conducted searches at the Yandex offices in Kyiv and Odesa office, the results of which it was discovered that the company's management has unlawfully collected, stored and transmitted personal data of Ukrainian citizens to Russia. The SBU clarified that it is about personal data, occupation, lifestyle, place of residence, residence, work, leisure, sources and income, as well as telephone numbers, email addresses and accounts in social networks. The department emphasized, that most attention has been paid to personal data of law enforcement and specialist bodies, members of the ATU, military, as well as employees of state power and administration.