App Takers: Collecting Your Data Without Notice

Hello digital mavens! How many apps are currently on your smartphone? Which are your favorite apps? and I assume that we all have at least 10 or more apps in our phones regardless if we use them all  or not. “The average smartphone user in South Korea has downloaded 50 apps, which is the highest number in the world and well above the global average of 25 downloads” (Fox. Zoe) That number is impressive, chime in and comment below with your total number of apps stored in your phone. These apps are for consumers to perform different tasks, in a cool new way. Just at your fingertips you can do almost anything on your smartphones, but theres always a catch. You may think all of these apps are simple tool created just for you but in reality we are helping drive the business of data and results for various of companies, without us even knowing it.

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Well guess what, many apps store personal details about you and your smartphone. From the phone number, your age, your gender, your name, your current location and even an identification number that can be use to track you. All of these phones really don’t keep secrets especially when you download and an app and sign up.

ImageCertain apps share your personal data to a variety of sources. “In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity,” says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is “always with us. It’s always on.” Just because you are not using your app, doesn’t mean its still not collecting any data from you. Many apps have gps signals stored in them which stays on until you actually turn off your cellphone, but in reality how many of us really turn off our phones. I know I don’t.

 

“Smartphone users are all but powerless to limit the tracking. With few exceptions, app users can’t “opt out” of phone tracking, as is possible, in limited form, on regular computers. On computers it is also possible to block or delete “cookies,” which are tiny tracking files. These techniques generally don’t work on cellphone apps.” (WSJ) Keep in mind that the fun with the apps we download can come back and bite us. Although it is really sad how companies use it computers for data without even letting us know they are.

We all go throughout our day using our apps because its convenient of us, if helps us navigate through clues, it keeps us entertained and it inform us of various things.As a consumer of over 15 apps I believe we have a right to what compainaes and people behind apps use with the data we enter. Hopefully one day all of this can change with a simple notice when joining the apps.

Do you all think its fair that apps can collect data from us without even informing us?

Comment below and share you opinion on the matter of: App Takers: Collecting Your Data Without Notice  
Until next time… digital mavens!

 

Kwasi K

 

References

Thurm, Scott. Kane Iwatani Yukari. “Your Apps Are Watching You” The Wall Street

Journal 31 July 2008: A15. ProQuest Newspapers. Web. 17 Dec. 2010. | http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602

 

Fox, Zoe. “The Average Smartphone User Downloads 25 Apps.” Mashable. Article 05 Sep 2013 | http://mashable.com/2013/09/05/most-apps-download-countries/

 

3 thoughts on “App Takers: Collecting Your Data Without Notice

  1. This is a great article. I think that its somewhat understood that some collection of data is acceptable, but we don’t really know what they are collecting and we blindly download apps anyhow. I especially think that if an app says it will only collect a certain amount, but in fact collects a lot more, that’s unacceptable.

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  2. I’ve never thought I’d have had a lot of apps stored on my phone. I have like 100 apps on my iPhone but less than 10 apps that I use it daily.
    I think user privacy is one thing that app developers have to consider about. I feel like my personal information has been stolen. They should inform users before collecting any data.
    Strongly agree with the above comment that it’s unacceptable if an app collects data without letting their users know.

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  3. I recall many conversations in our Comm Law class concerning privacy and ethical considerations. It is all but too easy for app creators to have a few prompts pop-up during the app installation asking users if it is OK to track the following things. However, the app creators know that many would just opt-out if it seems to technically involved. *sigh. We’ll just have to learn about privacy and personal digital boundaries the hard way for now.

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