Your apps are revealing your secrets

Smartphones are likely to know a lot about you and your behavior. A recent Wall Street Journal investigation that the apps on these phones are not likely to keep your  secrets. They are sharing your personal data widely and regularly. The Journal reports that out of 101 popular smartphone “apps”—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones they testes —56 transmitted the phone’s unique device ID to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone’s location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.  Even though Apple contests that iPhones cannot send this type of data without prior consent of the user, several applications were found that violated these rules.

Sure – anything you do on the net – in particular using free applications – will eventually be out there available to everyone. You leave a footprint everywhere. The big difference now is that retrieving this type of information is no longer the privilege of some men in dark suits and shades, but to commercial interests and eventually to everyone. Good or bad, I  think you have to live this – if you want good services without paying a fortune for them.

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WSJ article

The video

The methodology used

About Jens Zander

Professor Jens Zander is professor in Radio Communication Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He has been among the few in Swedens Ny Teknik magazine's annual list of influential people in ICT that have been given the epithet “Mobile Guru”. He is one of the leading researchers in mobile communication and is the Scientific director of the industry/academia collaboration center Wireless@KTH. His research group focuses on three main areas – the efficient and scalable use of the radio frequency spectrum, economic aspects of mobile systems and application and energy efficiency in future wireless infrastructures.
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