16th December 2019
Mobile phones are the biggest culprits in data collection. Even in their idle state, information is collected, analyzed and distributed. Check your mobile device and note down the applications that are actively in use. Some have come with the purchase of your mobile device, others you have downloaded yourself. Turn on your device, and locate your application settings. Most of the apps you use are likely to have access to information such as your location, storage, camera, calender and contacts list. Some of those permissions will seem odd to you, others an understandable privacy trade-off. Can a Google Chrome access to your microphone, for example, be truly justified? Awareness is key to privacy.
Providing one platform with access to your data doesn't equate giving access to third parties. Often times, platforms regard third parties as an extension of their own company and therefore don't feel obliged to inform you of the identity of their 'trusted partners'. A lot of applications are connected to bigger platforms, such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Those companies are connected to hundreds of other platforms, that are hard to track down. Apps like Ghostery and Disconnect help make those connections visible; connections where third parties could have access to your data. The more people demand transparency, the more policies will begin to change. Apple for example, has updated its privacy settings, in 2018, enabling users to download and view the data, Apple has been collecting through their Apple ID. You too can request to view your data on any Apple device. Understanding the transactions is key to making an educated decision.