Monday, January 8, 2018

Privacy in Big Mobile Data

When I was preparing my seminar report, I found one very interesting article about privacy and security issues written by Lee Garber. He has mentioned in the article that, Bit Defender, a Romanian security vendor, has found many Android applications, which can access and even send information like, users’ location, contact lists with phone numbers and email addresses, as well as photos without their consent. They also analyzed 836,021 Android applications on Google’s Play Store and found that about 33% of them could reveal location-related data. About 5% located and opened photos on users’ phones, and approximately 3% reveal their email data.

This is really a very serious issue. In the era of mobile and big data, it is very difficult to preserve a privacy. It feels like, mobile is more of a spying device than a communication one. Over-collection of data is one of the biggest problems with smartphone apps. nowadays, there are apps for almost everything starting from social networking to banking but do we actually need all those apps? I also found in some paper that, "brightest flashlight" app collects location information of the user which actually doesn't require to illuminate the light! This is only one example there are many apps which are collecting more of our personal data than they actually need.

What we can do to preserve our privacy?

I suggest, to install only those apps which you really need more often. e.g. if you are not a regular buyer of Flipkart why to download its app? you may access its website from your mobile browser too. Isn't it?

In any case, you find that some app is helpful to you. check its consent page, which data is going to be accessed by that app? if you find it legitimate then only install it.

Your mobile phone might have a lot of personal data which you don't want to share with anyone. Therefore, please avoid installing any app without reading its consent page thoroughly. Because some apps may create a back door and steal your data and be consuming memory and processing power of mobile too. This may lead to a huge loss financially, socially, and sometimes physically.

Please be aware of privacy and beware of fraudulent apps.

Hope you find this article interesting.

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