Nowadays, there many apps on users’ devices for them to do business, communicate, entertain and play games, educate themselves, and relax. Most of these apps request some sort of information about you and the device you are using. They may want to know your name, your email address, or your real-world address. Some apps even ask for access to the device’s camera, microphone or your exact location.
For example, the Weather Channel app asked users for their locations to provide personalized local forecasts. Users of theScore, a sports app, were also asked for their location data.
Data security is a primary concern when installing an app to your device. Results showed that less than half of the apps that collected user information had privacy policies and the policy lacked important data-processing information. Users gave apps permission to collect and share their information while they are not aware of the risks. Some apps even change your smartphone setting and collect information without your permission.
In fact, developers of free apps get revenue from advertisements to support their work on apps. Companies provide users with customized services, awards and discounts in exchange for their location data agree. Preventing sensitive information from leaving the phone can affect the performance of the app or the user experience: An app may be able to refuse the feature if ads can not be loaded. The goal of ads is to understand your habits and ultimately get you to buy something.
Companies like Facebook and Google run their own advertising ecosystems won’t disclose their user data to ensure their competitiveness. However, smaller companies have a financial incentive to sell data with third parties.
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