How would you like to have an app on your Android phone that told you when the other apps on your phone were keeping tabs on you? Well that’s the end goal of Janne Lindqvist, an assistant professor at Rutgers University. MIT Technology Review has a detailed write up of the whole project that’s worth your time to read. In essence what this proposed app would do is send you a notification when other apps are accessing personal data in the background, as MIT Tech Review says, this was only achievable before by rooting only. Here’s a short nutshell quote from MIT Tech.
Lindqvist says Android phone users who used a prototype of his app were shocked to discover how frequently they were being tracked. “People were really surprised that some apps were accessing their location, or how often some apps were accessing their location,” he says.
According to one Pew Research survey, almost 20 percent of smartphone owners surveyed have tried to disconnect location information from their apps, and 70 percent wanted to know more about the location data collected by their smartphone.
The goal of the project, Lindqvist says, is to goad Google and app companies into providing more prominent disclosures, collecting less personal information, and allowing users to select which data they will allow the app to see. A research paper describing the app and the user study can be found here. It was recently accepted for an upcoming computer security conference.
Hit the link below to read the comprehensive write up over at MIT Tech, I’m certain a lot of our audience would be very interested in the work Rutgers is doing with this app.
Source: MIT Technology Review