Sunday, December 7, 2014

THE TINY FLASH ON YOUR SMART PHONE COULD BE ALARMING!



App Tracking
Picture - Google Images


How could a tiny flash application on your smart phone be sending your highly confidential data back to its developers? And how your information gets passed on to the advertising agencies and marketing research firms and other third parties? How? You must be asking. Let us enlighten you.

Many flashlight apps which allow a device to be used as a torch also secretly record the most sensitive personal information. This may include the location of the phone, details of its owner and their contacts, and even the content of text messages.

The truth is, your smart phone is really spying on you with the applications you download every day – without your knowledge and without your consent. Privacy policy is an important feature that must be present with every application developed. But Google and Apple don’t require applications to have written privacy policies.

As advertising on applications becomes more popular, online tracking companies are suddenly very, very interested to see what we are downloading, how long and how frequently we use that download, who we are, whether we are male or female, where we live — you get the picture.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal tested 101 popular applications for both iPhone and Android. Out of the 101 tested, here are the highlights of what they found:

  • Number of those apps that transmitted the phone’s unique ID number to other companies without consent: 65
  • Number of apps that transmitted the phone’s location: 47
  • Number of those who sent age, gender, and other personal information to online tracking companies: 5

Here’s a breakdown of the most frequently collected data: 

  • 82 percent of the top Android free apps and 49 percent of the top Android paid apps track user location
  • 50 percent of the top iOS free apps and 24 percent of the top iOS paid apps track user location

According to Appthority, “One of the main reasons app developers initiate app tracking is to generate supplementary revenue by sharing app user data with advertising networks and analytic companies. In some cases, particularly with free apps, developers are paid based on the amount of data they collect and share about users.”

All this revealing information is pretty scary. Even scarier when you know that there’s  actually NOTHING you can do about it. When it comes down to your PC, you can easily delete the cookies found in your computer system and rest assured but with smart phones you cannot do it, at least not at this point in time.

Keep checking our space as we stay on the lookout for more information about how you can make your privacy more private. Stay safe, and secure.