By installing and enabling some applications, you often unconsciously give away your privacy. Only on the basis of your location, companies can indicate where you will be, how often you look there and how long you stay. It's a business that blooms unconsciously "under our radar."

Does privacy still exist?

Many times in the last years there have been reports of information leaks from various companies. It can be frightening. The problem, however, is that it is also just a drop in the sea, how much we sell our privacy every day … and we do it voluntarily. If we think that something is for free, we are really wrong . The exchange is always barter. Let's say you download the application and it's free. In most cases, it collects information that you have no idea about. As if that was not enough – you agree to it – by downloading it, installing and launching you agree to the terms and privacy policy. Then you confirm further information in the pop-ups and you have a spy who looks very inconspicuous. It can give you pleasure, at the expense of your privacy. The data that is collected is then sold further. This is valuable information that other companies acquire and then process them to create your personality profile or check your schedule of the day with shocking precision. Why all this? For instance as part of even better matching ads to your website. You like it?

Do companies struggle for user privacy?

I do not think so. Only Apple is a company that loudly stomps when users' privacy is at stake. In the case of other smartphone manufacturers, it is in vain to look for similar reports. If necessary, of course, each company will respond to this and show how much it cares about users. However, nobody cares about it until the brand's image is shaken.

17 out of 20 applications sold data to a total of 70 companies

Let's get back to Apple and iPhones for a moment. Even when a company approaches the subject matter strictly, it is not able to control everything with 100% precision. For example, the WeatherBug application has provided the exact latitude and longitude of the user's location to as many as 40 different companies. This is the result of the New York Times report, which appeared on Monday. NYT has checked 20 applications for iOS and Android. Most of them were marked by researchers as potentially inadvisable due to sharing location data. As many as 17 of them (including WeatherBug) jointly sold user coordinates to at least 70 companies . More problematic applications are available in the Google Play store. There were as many as 1,200 programs with a code, allowing for sharing geolocation. Approximately 200 of them were found on the App Store. The mentioned list includes even the most popular weather app in the App Store – The Weather Channel. The application informs the user that location data is collected only to better personalize the weather. In fact, however, the collected data was analyzed for hedge funds by a subsidiary company, IBM, which owns the appki, or Weather Company. Apparently, this analysis was done as part of a pilot program that has already been completed. The problem is that at the time of the NYT report, the privacy policy did not indicate that Weather Comapny could use users' data for commercial purposes.

Companies know you thanks to the context and your routine

Apple requires appek developers to collect data anonymously. This means that the information must be spayed with names, names or other identifiers of a given user. The problem is that companies have a different solution – by collecting a huge amount of information they are able to create a user's portrait based on the context and its routine. Such extremely interesting data is definitely more important to them. The example given by NYT is Lisa Magrin – a math teacher who every day passes the same route from her home to school. Journalists could easily learn a lot about her lifestyle. Using only the location collected by the app, companies are able to determine the way we move, where we go or where we will most likely be … when we will be and how long we will stay there. The smartphone is with us everywhere. Almost everyone already has a GPS, so we are always "available for monitoring" at your own request. If we care for a bit more privacy, we can do at least one thing . Let's pay attention to what applications we download and what permissions we give them. Also, do not accept all the windows appearing thoughtlessly. Source