Sunday, May 17, 2015

Protecting your privacy

While at the urgent care center for suspected strep throat, I read an interesting article on Time Magazine's site about the group Privacy Grade. This project, based at Carnegie Mellon University, looks at smartphone apps and grades them on their level of privacy violation.

There are highly granular tests that are performed, and links to third party libraries are documented for the "worst case scenarios", but the permissions given are all very real. You have to decide if getting that extra spin in a game is really worth ad networks finding out how often you are playing, and who your friends are and, in some cases, your call history and web browsing history.

Many of the apps are GooglePlay versions, which makes me think there are few if any iOS apps in there, but the ad networks accessed give the most access, and all it takes is permission, even if you think the app developer is okay. Once those gates are opened, the information is out there, whether it's used or not. And there's money in it for someone.


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