Smartphones, I think it’s safe to say, have become the world’s most popular prosthetic. We do not go a single day without interacting with our smartphones. They function as our window to the internet, which, in turn, is our window to the world. They bring so much utility to a person’s life, to the point that smart assistants have even been built into our smartphones to provide more assistance to users.
While the utility of smartphones cannot be denied, there is an inherent danger in giving your information away freely, especially in an age when information is a commodity. Businesses use your information to find potential customers and digital marketing companies use it to direct ads to their leads, making your information valuable. Data is vital to any company, which is also why companies like https://www.aidatainnovations.com/ are trying to develop ways that artificial intelligence can further bolster the efficiency with which data is gathered and processed. While this in itself is not a bad thing, the danger lies with not being aware of what information your phone is collecting about you. You could be fine with your browsing history being collected, but not your location.
With this in mind, you might want to think twice before freely giving away your information. So, what does your smartphone know about you?
Your phone collects your location through the use of sensors like your phone’s gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS, and compass. Your phone can collect information on the places you’ve been and when you were there.
Your search history is what helps give marketers an idea of the things that you’re interested in. This helps them determine what ads to place in front of you. These ads tend to show up as Youtube ads, Google ads, and even on the ads on your social media feed. It is assumed that if you’re searching for something, that means that you have an interest in it.
If you have any eCommerce app installed on your phone and if you’ve bought items through the app, you’re going to have a purchase history on your phone. Purchase history is important as it helps give marketers an idea of the type of items you’re likely to buy based on what you’ve purchased in the past. The more you buy an item, the more you’re going to see ads for that particular item or other items that complement the item that you just bought.
Your smartphone’s apps also have access to your contacts, so long as you’ve given those apps authorization to access your contacts. The danger here is that not many people actually take the time to look through the app permissions that they are granting. If you see that an app is asking for permissions that it doesn’t need, you might want to be more careful with the app, or better yet; find a safer alternative. A photo editing app shouldn’t need access to your microphone, for example.
As worrisome as it sounds, you shouldn’t be afraid to use your smartphone. There are a plethora of solutions that enable you to keep your data private. There are apps that are designed to block data transmissions, Chrome extensions, VPNs, and the most basic of all, smart habits. While data collection in itself is not a bad thing, you need to be aware of the data that your smartphone is collecting so that you’re able to filter what information is okay to share, and what isn’t.