According to a latest research that is to be presented at a conference in Seoul next month states that the apps residing in our smartphones are sending the device current location not hundred, but thousand times a week. It was discovered that apps, several times a day, ping their location to the respective server.
Researchers studied nearly 23 Android device users and for the first week asked them to operate as in normal conditions. in the next week they were asked to install an app called App Ops, a monitoring app, whose results were observed. It came to the light that several apps were pinging back to the server several times a day. Monitoring revealed some of the effective facts about the app design and how they have been telling owner company about the user’s location every moment.
In the third week, researchers introduced a new “privacy nudge” that raised an alarm every time an app was requesting for the location data.
The title is yet to be presented at the conference, however, it has already revealed how the most trusted apps have been sharing our location every minute without knowledge. Various social media apps, navigational applications and other were put in this category.
All of those 23 users quickly changed their settings and deleted few apps to protect themselves from this snooping, however, Professor Norman Sadeh, explained that navigation apps can be justified for this action, but users must have some control over it.
Professor accurately pinpointed the Groupon app for the continuously monitoring the app. The frequency was relatively high for an app that was meant for providing the discount coupons. In response, Groupon said that they are monitoring the user location to offer better deals, however, have no intention of trading off the user’s privacy.
“We access a user’s location, when permitted, in order to show our customers the most pertinent deals near them,” Bill Roberts, head of global communications for Groupon, says. “We do not share individual location data … On Android, you opt-in to location tracking when you download the app. On iOS, this is done on the device when you first attempt to use location.”
Privacy is a big deal in this digital age; corporates can use it for obtaining monetary benefits and much more. It can be sold to advertisers for targeted advertisements or worse.