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Detroit: There are several applications to get the details of locations for you to reach the intended place easily; now the news is that your apps have been tracking you. Yes! Recently the computer scientists from a well-known university confirmed that dozens of Android applications are collecting the location of the devices. The research also revealed that 90% of the Americans feel that they have no control over their personal data as everybody will be very much concerned about their privacy.
Few astute users also know that, using mobile applications can take off their privacy; for instance, any navigation applications would reveal your location to the app publishers. But there are number of people who actually don’t know to what extent the information is collected and distributed. So the researches are still going on to put an end to such activities so that the users will have their privacy.
How the research was conducted?
The researchers hired a few Android 4.3 users and they were allowed to use the apps they wish to use after installing the software which actually noted the app requests for personal information; the personal information not just related to the location, but also the contacts, camera output, call logs and so on. The hired Android users were not told the actual intent of the study; they were screened to know who had strong views about privacy.
Through this study, it was found that the applications which have been very useful by providing location based service were requesting the device’s location. It’s agreed that they need the location to provide the service. But what has been noted is, they have been requesting for the location for almost every 10 minutes which was a bit more frequent than necessary. For instance, a famous weather reporting channel requested for the device’s location for every 10 minutes.
App publishers can gather location data as they want
App publishers will be having a great control over the users such that they can gather the location data as they wish. They can even just notify the user with something and make them share their location details. In the recent study, the researchers found that whenever an app requests for the device’s location, 73% of the time the location has been shared the location details with the advertising network.
This is being done as the location data can make the consumers feel that the ad is more relevant to them. For example, an ad for a store can be shown to a potential customer who is nearby to that location. They believe that this technique boosts their store traffic by 40%. Users are not aware that their locations are playing a vital role in a particular ad being shown to them.
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