NCircle has a nifty article up about the dangers of what installed [mobile] apps know and access about you, whether they tell you or not.
This isn’t new, apps do what they want when you install them; always. What *is* new is how we now have this device with us everywhere we go; we put in social contacts, search, and use geolocation…constantly. That wealth of knowledge makes even *me* salivate…and I’m not even into advertising!!
Thought I’d repost this blurb I made recently in a HardOCP forum thread on the topic:
Besides, no one with a smartphone with Google/3rd party/provider geolocation services enabled should even begin to be worried about ISP/IP tracking. You’re already in far, far deeper with location tracking and delivered ads. Or if you don’t remain anonymous while using something like Google search. They’re already doing generic ISP location; I can’t search for many things without Google appending my city name to the back of it.
And no, people just accept it, and will let their privacy slowly erode. If it’s wrapped around an Angry Birds app, you’ve already lost the battle. If it’s a free search engine that you use while logged into your free email account which also houses your RSS feeds and IM/VOIP friend lists as well as a free DNS provider (tracks when you query) and free browser (that won’t let you globally disable scripting), all of which is also tied by account to your smartphone with a geolocation service…
…all from the same company*…you’ve already lost.
* Throw in things like Facebook and Twitter behind-the-scenes information-sharing, and you’re even further in the hole. (Oh, and all of this is opt-in by default.)
I don’t trust Google, nor do I trust Apple…and it really does suck that if I want a device like this, I’m screwed. If I want these convenience-adding apps that *need* a business model and to make money any way they can, I have to feel dirty when I install them.
By the way, recent news is that Apple requires and uploads location information from their devices. This begs the question: How come Apple doesn’t retrieve every single device that is ever stolen? If my device spends a huge chunk of time in my home, and suddenly spends it elsewhere shortly after me reporting it stolen…help a brotha out, ya know?