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On Mobile Apps, Who Can See Your Personal Data?

September 12, 2019

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The mobile apps on your smartphone possess a close view of your personal life. Mobile applications are well aware of reams of private data, from the type of news stories that we read to the genre of videos we watch.

It may come as a little surprise to you: how often we skim the privacy policies and click on “I Agree” button.

But do you know that a lot of mobile apps depend on third-party services — often unknown to the application user —providing analytics, monetization and social media integration. These mobile tracking and advertising services having a personal view of our private lives are always keen on harvesting user’s personal data.

To be honest there is a huge gap lacking the transparency of mobile applications behaving with user’s private data. People tend to install mobile apps, but don’t even know what exactly the application is doing.

The troubling scenario is that the Third-party platforms inherit the application permission requested by the hosting mobile app that allows the access to ample of user’s valuable and private data, way beyond the expected service that they are meant to provide.

Different mobile applications are known to offer personal data of its users to popular advertising platforms and tracking blacklists. These platforms collect personal data like the IDs, contact number, MAC address, device fingerprints, and more.

Gaming and educational applications are the two most popular categories that are known to have the highest number of third-party trackers. News and entertainment applications have also been exposed to a good number of trackers.

Cross-platform tracking is extensive. A majority of mobile application trackers are also found to be active on desktop web, allowing the companies get access to the personal data of the users.

Strict laws regulation may not be working right as a solution. Different laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), target to protect users’ private data in a more advanced manner, but still dealing with every day data attacks. Even after these legal laws in action, the problem persists as the large-scale flow of personal data and the procedure of companies collecting private data from different users, storing it at their end, and then sharing it for further use, without the privacy concern of the user is making the scenario even more severe.  We need to be well aware of the mobile applications we are using, and which one out of those are invading out private data.

What is the next for data security? The best solution for this issue is to switch to a mobile application that is secure and doesn’t share data third party service providers. Signal is one such option that is completely secure and provides end-to-end encryption.

You need to switch to safer option like Signal to restrict the access of third party users to your private data, making it a safe environment for communication.

The ultimate goal is to block any third-party tracker that can get access to out private data.

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