Are Your Phone Apps Secretly Monetizing You?
There’s a strong chance that your phone apps are secretly monetizing you. In fact, dozens of popular iPhone apps are quietly selling information about you to big businesses in the data mining industry.
Apps are constantly sending precise locations and other data about users to Big Data, Guardian App project researchers have discovered. The apps do not try to tell users about the tracking.
Furthermore, tens of millions of iPhone users are being secretly monetized by dozens of popular iPhone apps, TechCrunch is claiming.
How Apple And Big Data Are Secretly Monetizing You
As an illustration, 24 popular iPhone apps are constantly collecting location data, including Bluetooth beacon information and Wi-Fi network names. Therefore, these apps are clearly tracking users.
Significantly, those apps are also collecting data about your phone usage. Device data companies are gathering detailed information which includes battery charge status and accelerometer reports.
Moreover, an entire industry of data monetization firms exists for the sole purpose of secretly monetizing you, according to Tech Crunch.
Are Your Apps Secretly Monetizing You?
Popular apps that could be secretly monetizing you include:
- Homes.com – Tech Crunch claims that this app collects your precise coordinates whenever you use it.
- Perfect365 – The incredibly popular beauty app is secretly monetizing you by selling your location data to advertisers.
- News and weather apps – Publishers have created many newspaper apps for the purpose of secretly monetizing you, as the data tracking firm Reveal is claiming.
- The NOAA Weather Radar – This government-sponsored app is secretly monetizing you by selling your location data to three companies.
- Askfm – This supposedly anonymous teen advice app asks for access to a user’s location. Askfm has allegedly sold location data to two firms for the purpose of secretly monetizing teenagers.
Unfortunately, TechCrunch did not examine Android Apps, which are sold through Google Play. Google owns Android and they make their money by selling data. As a result, it is safe to assume that Android Apps are secretly monetizing you.
How To Keep Your Apps From Secretly Monetizing You
The first thing to remember about most apps is that they were created to monetize you. That means the only way to prevent some apps from tracking you is to not use them.
The Guardian Mobile App project is tracking location data monetization in iOS (iPhone operating system) Apps. If you use an iPhone you can see what apps are secretly monetizing you and what data they are collecting here.
On the positive side, it is indeed possible to stop apps from secretly monetizing you on an iPhone. Following these instructions might stop iPhone apps from tracking you:
- Go to Settings.
- Choose Privacy.
- Choose Advertising.
- Turn on Limit Ad Tracking.
- If an app contains the words “don’t allow,” then press them. This can turn off location tracking.
- Use a generic name for the SSID of your home Wi-Fi router such as “Wi-Fi one.”
- Turn off your phone’s Bluetooth function when you are not using it.
On the negative side, it is possible that apps will still be monetizing you anyways. For this reason, it is a good idea to use only the apps that you pay for. The so-called “free apps” often make money selling your data.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: Here’s How To Keep Google From Tracking Your Movements
Or download our free 47-page report on the coming of the great American surveillance state: Surveillance Nation
What do you think about phone apps that may be secretly monetizing you? Let us know in the comments below.