Wed, 18 Sep, 2019

Leakage of Personal Data by Baidu Apps

By Shreeya Pandey

Picture Courtesy: www.mobileworldlive.com

Due to the advancement in science and technology and also the evolution of the internet and its impact on humans, life is getting benefited in many ways. But the same internet has also been the cause of trouble for several people across the globe. With the evolution of the internet, the world is currently facing security problems. Personal data of people are insecure and are leaked in many cases, which has created a major issue in today’s world.

Baidu, a popular Chinese web services company established on 18th January 2000, offers several services along with Chinese search engine for websites, audio files and images. Also, it is the first company in China to offer wireless application protocol(WAP) and personal digital assistant(PDA)- based mobile search.

Recently, researchers have found that many apps built with Baidu software development kit have not been able to protect personal data and the data leaks have affected millions of Chinese people. The data reveals where people are, search terms, sites visited and the ID numbers of devices they own. Baidu, itself used it to make web browsers for Android and Windows and many other firms have used the kit too, to download various apps.

According to the latest report, security and privacy shortcomings have been found in Baidu’s codes. The GPS coordinates and search terms are sent in plain text. Also, the unique device IDs could easily be cracked.

The users too wouldn’t receive any warning that their data was being leaked. This becomes problematic especially to those who use these applications for political purposes. According to Citizen Lab, Baidu had fixed some of the bugs in the code but the poor encryption scheme was still being used on sensitive data.

Thus, we come to the conclusion that although Baidu is a popular and highly used search engine, due to its poor security many people are getting affected in a wrong way. All of us need privacy in our lives which Baidu cannot provide. Hence, before using any search engine or service, one should properly check for all its flaws, and every search engine, websites should be used in a proper manner.