Disturbing report from Wall Street Journal explaining what private data is being passed when you are using various applications on either your Apple or Android phone. not particularly encouraging wrt either platform.
As an example: ‘…TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone’s unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone’s zip code, along with the user’s age and gender, to two of them.’
And remember: ‘”The great thing about mobile is you can’t clear a UDID like you can a cookie,” says Meghan O’Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. “That’s how we track everything.”‘
Brings Google back into the whole debate about privacy:
‘Google was the biggest data recipient in the tests. Its AdMob, AdSense, Analytics and DoubleClick units collectively heard from 38 of the 101 apps. Google, whose ad units operate on both iPhones and Android phones, says it doesn’t mix data received by these units.
Google’s main mobile-ad network is AdMob, which it bought this year for $750 million. AdMob lets advertisers target phone users by location, type of device and “demographic data,” including gender or age group.’
All in all seems that for now we are relying on self regulation – where both Apple and Google appear to be conflicted by their interests.
- Betrayal of the app: How mobile apps are spying on us (venturebeat.com)
- Your apps are watching you (online.wsj.com)