A new study warns that various tracking companies like Facebook Graph API, Google Analytics or Crashlytics have access to your personal information through the smartphone apps. More than 70% of the smartphone apps report the data to third parties. Every time an individual installs an iOS app or an Android app, the user’s permission is sought before accessing the personal information. Certain information gathered by these apps is necessary for them to work properly, for example, maps will need access to your location in order to provide you accurate information.
Once the app has the permission to collect the information, it can then share the same with anyone it wants to, this allows the third party companies to track where you are, how fast are you moving, etc. The researchers from IMDEA Networks Institute in Spain developed an Android app called Lumen Privacy Monitor. This app gives a picture of the data that is collected and transmitted from people’s phones. It analyses the information sent out and reports which online services harvest personal data.
This access to data allowed the researchers to learn how mobile apps collected the personal data and with whom did they share the same. They analyzed more than 5000 apps of 1600 people and discovered that 598 internet sites were tracking users for the purpose of advertisement, using social media like Facebook, Yahoo and Google. The majority of the apps, almost 70% were connected with one tracker and about 15% of the same were connected to more than five trackers.
Tracking users on the mobile device is a huge problem with more than half of the app trackers using websites to track the users. Every time you allow access to personal information, the apps gather your information which is accessed by various third parties. The use of websites for the purpose of tracking is also increasing, every move of yours is tracked by the devices. In order to increase sales and to reach out to the users, various websites constantly track the activities of the users. It could be difficult to determine what information to share and what to keep confidential. With the increasing cyber theft and cyber crimes, it has become necessary to keep a watch on your own actions and to ensure that not every information is shared. Whenever you allow access to personal information, keep in mind that this information could be shared with many others by third party services.