Do you know how many apps store your personal information?! Do you know how many apps share your information to advertisers? Do you know how many apps connect to third party websites and share data about you and your daily life?
No, most apps aren’t doing anything malicious but you should know exactly what apps are sharing your information and with whom. It can be scary when you think about a telecommunications company knowing every movement you make and establishment you frequent. We’ve included a couple of videos we think you should watch on privacy and how different websites and apps are tracking your life via your smartphone.
So how do you find out what apps share personal information with advertisers and other companies? Well Luigi Vigneri and his team from Eurecom in France developed software to track what url’s are accessed by any app on your phone.
“Vigneri and co began by downloading over 2,000 free apps from all 25 categories on the Google Play store. They then launched each app on a Samsung Galaxy SIII running Android version 4.1.2 that was set up to channel all traffic through the team’s server. This recorded all the urls that each app attempted to contact. . . .
. . . In total, the apps connect to a mind-boggling 250,000 different urls across almost 2,000 top level domains. And while most attempt to connect to just a handful of ad and tracking sites, some are much more prolific.”
In other countries, people seem to be asking the same question. In Germany, Malte Spitz was astounded when he found out how much information his phone company collected about him. Here’s is his TED talk explaining his journey:
The information gathered about you when you visit a single website is alarming. This TED talk highlights the data gathered from viewing a single website.
It can be surprising when you see the data. The vast amount of knowledge our phones have on us is incredible. I do think that the more people that know about it, the harder it will be for companies to use it in malicious means but there will always be those outliers.
Protect yourself. Be careful where you and your family are visiting online. Run robust spyware and anti-virus software to ensure you’re monitoring your computer and files on a regular schedule.
If you have more questions about your privacy, please don’t hesitate to ask the folks here at KSP, or Tweet us at @ksptechnology.