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Privacy leaks in mobile phone internet access

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1 Author(s)
Collin Mulliner ; Security in Telecommunications, Technische Universität Berlin / Deutsche Telekom Labs, D-10587, Germany

Accessing the Internet and specifically the World Wide Web from a mobile phone is common today. Especially since the usage fees for packet-data access dropped to a point where anybody who can can afford a mobile phone can afford mobile Internet access. Almost every mobile phone today comes with an integrated web browser that can display HTML web pages and execute JavaScript. Almost all major web sites such as news sites, social networks, and shopping sites run websites that are optimized for small displays of mobile phones. Due to the broad use of mobile web access we investigated possible privacy problems of mobile phone web access. We conducted a study where we monitor all HTTP headers sent from mobile phones to our web server. We analyzed the logged data for privacy problems. Through this study we determined that a world wide privacy problem exists when accessing the world wide web from a mobile phone. We show what kind of data is leaked and who leaks it.

Published in:

Intelligence in Next Generation Networks (ICIN), 2010 14th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-14 Oct. 2010