Nearly a quarter of the free apps available on the official Google Play Store track their user's location, according to Juniper Networks.
Juniper networks revealed the alarming trend in its Exposing Your Personal Information research paper on Wednesday.
The paper examined 1.7 million apps on the Google Play market from March 2011 to September 2012.
Of the free apps examined, Juniper Networks reported that 24.14 per cent had the ability and permission to track their user's location.
Juniper Networks chief mobile security evangelist Dan Hoffman warned that the problem is symptomatic of a lack of understanding by smartphone users about what they are doing when they agree to an app's permissions.
"Companies, consumers and government employees who install these apps often do not understand with who, and how, they are sharing personal information," wrote Hoffman.
"Even though a list of permissions is presented when installing an app, most people don't understand what they are agreeing to or don't have the proper information needed to make educated decisions about which apps to trust."
Disturbingly, Hoffman went on to warn that the apps were also getting users to agree to let them store other, even more sensitive, personal information.
"More concerning is that many apps collect information or require permissions unnecessary for the described functionality of the app," wrote Hoffman.
"We found a significant number of applications contain permissions and capabilities that could expose sensitive data or access device functionality that they might not need. We also determined these apps had permission to access the internet, which could provide a means for exposed data to be transmitted from the device."
Specifically, the report detected that 6.72 per cent of free apps requested permission to the user's address book, 2.64 per cent permission to silently send text messages, 6.39 per cent to clandestinely initiate calls in the background and 5.53 per cent to access the device's camera.
The news follows widespread warnings that cyber criminals are becoming increasingly interested in targeting the Android operating system.
Most recently, specialist mobile security firm Lookout issued a report claiming Toll fraud campaigns are the biggest threat facing Android device users.
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