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The Smartphone’s Secret Life: Who Has Your Information and Where It’s Going

  • On June 13, 2019

As the world continues to embrace technology, smartphones have become a vital part of our daily lives. From surfing the internet to sending messages and receiving the news, these innovative devices have changed the way we receive, consume, and share information. However, most people don’t realize that their smartphone may be leading a double life.

We’ll look at the secret life of a mobile phone to help you understand the information it might be sharing without your knowledge, even when idle.

Does Your Smartphone Sleep?

Contrary to what most of us think, your phone is always busy accessing servers all day long. Whether you’re sending a message, placing a bet at Betway or charging it on your nightstand, the smartphone is busy communicating even when you’re not. As a result, the phone sends thousands of messages daily without the owner’s knowledge.

According to Disconnect Chief technology officer and former NSA researcher Patrick Jackson, your phone doesn’t shut down when you do. Disconnect is a San-Francisco based startup aimed at stopping phone applications from tracking your activities online.

Who Has Your Information?

After examining various devices, Jackson revealed that most mobile apps are sharing your information with Facebook and other third-party trackers. That may explain all those highly personalized and sometimes invasive adverts you receive on your timeline. For instance, if a user likes to bet on lucky numbers with betway, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you receive ads to bet on other bookies.

Experts also explain that the simplest apps can be the most dangerous. These apps are designed to help you with only one task, but they perform a ton of other tasks in the background. Such apps lead to a huge amount of tracking as most of them are free, and the providers are looking for ways to monetize them, even if it means using the users’ data.

Even without a Facebook app or a Facebook account, third party apps on your smartphone can still share your data with the social media giant. That’s because most of these apps are masquerading to be helping the user, but they don’t have the consumer’s safety in mind. Additionally, it remains unclear what these tech giants do with that information.

Monitoring On The Go

According to research, mobile phone devices can be used to track the user’s location from any part of the world, even when their location-tracking services are turned off. This vulnerability comes from a wide range of sensors installed in most smartphones. That not only includes GPS and communication interfaces but also accelerometers and gyroscopes that measure your phone’s position and movements.

With all these sensors stuffed in your phone, mobile devices are perfect tools for monitoring people’s activities. Apps can also access these sensors without asking for the user’s permission. As a result, if fairly easy to pinpoint a user’s whereabouts using sensors that don’t require their permission. That includes finding where a person lives, works, and the routes they travel – information that most people consider private.