According to the troubling findings of a new report issued by Lookout Mobile Security, more than 1 million Android users in the U.S. have downloaded adware to their devices in the last year.
The scary discovery comes as Lookout announces its new standard for classifying adware.
Adware is an ad network that exhibits intrusive behavior without gaining appropriate consent from a user, which can pose a privacy risk.
Lookout now flags ad networks newly classified as adware in Lookout Mobile Security for Android, providing users with new insight and information on how to remove any applications containing adware.
“Mobile privacy is an increasingly important topic for consumers and app developers, and adware is a risk to user privacy and one of the most prevalent threats on mobile worldwide,” Lookout says, indicating it found that the global likelihood of a new Android Lookout user having adware on their device is 1.6%, and approximately 6.5% of free apps on Google Play today contain adware.
“Ad networks are a vital element in the mobile ecosystem, allowing app developers a way to offer free applications to consumers,” a statement from Lookout revealed Wednesday. “Ad networks that overstep user privacy bounds or negatively affect user experience create conflict, compromising not only consumers’ privacy and user experience, but also the developer community that relies on mobile ad networks to bring free products to market.”