publicandprivatespace

March 9, 2011

Smart phone apps, NOT worth it

Filed under: Cell Phones — publicandprivatespace @ 1:37 pm

BY: MITCH TROTTA

Over the past decade smart phones have become the newest and most popular form of technology a person can have. Smart phones provide thousands and thousands of applications that can do almost anything for a person. People of all age groups use these apps to do tasks that go from games to managing a portfolio. These applications are extremely dangerous for a person’s privacy and can leak personal information to the public.

Take into account Scott Thurm and Yukari Iwatani Kane’s Wall Street Journal article. Every time somebody buys or downloads an application, they agree to a contract and agreement that explains to them that their private information will be sent to various places. A very little amount of people actually read the contract before clicking agree, and now they wonder why the world knows about their private life. Another reason this is such a problem is that some of these companies do not even send contracts; they just do as they please with the information without the users’ knowledge. Even when they do know what is being released, people express that more personal items are being sent than they wanted or expected, according to Poremba’s article.

Many personal traits are being sent all over the country. Thurm and Kane discuss how with a simple touch or click, people can send their name, gender, age, location, contacts, and phone identification number. Parts of this information may not worry some, but I know I don’t want a complete stranger and company knowing this. The main reason I wouldn’t want this is that I have no idea what they are actually going to do with the data. I don’t know if they are keeping it safe or if it is getting into the hands of the wrong people. There is no way of knowing, and the fact that some person knows my location at all times is just too creepy. Also, if I was a parent and my child wanted a smart phone, there is no way I would allow it, knowing the potential risks. There are way too many criminals in the world that would take someone’s private information and commit frauds with it that can ruin someone’s life. The safety of my life and the lives of my family is way more important to me than getting the most popular application.

YouTube Video

Most of time however, the private information gets sent to an advertising company. These companies write smart phone companies huge checks just so that they send them this information. What they do with this data is review it and get to know the basic personal traits of a person. Now, they can send advertisements to these people based on that information. Everyone has received these ads and pop ups, and I think I’m safe to say that people do not like them, and that it is an invasion of privacy. It all comes down to the fact that the cell phone companies only care about money. They do not care for their customers’ feelings or privacy. I don’t want to buy these phones and applications from a company like this. All people should use phones for are calling and texting. A case study  performed says that most people have cell phones because they provide people with a certain personal safety at all times. This is what cell phones are for. They are not so that people can play games or be on Facebook all day.

This website explains many more dangers that are associated with smart phones. In my opinion, the number one reason is these applications.  They are just not worth the risks that come with them. Overall, people will always own smart phones and continue to download applications. The increase of new apps is huge and will continue to rise. With this increase comes the possibility for more “dirty” applications and more dangers. What people need to do is always read their agreements and know what privacy policies the companies provide about collecting data. Knowing is number one. If people do this, they can decide whether the application is worth the risk. Personally, the apps are not very appealing, and I am perfectly happy with my normal Nokia cell phone.

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2 Comments »

  1. Devina Mehta
    Everywhere we go, businesses are trying to find a way to make money off of us. Even our favorite TV shows sport ads for companies by placing their products in the viewer’s visibility. One example would be Gossip Girl, a popular teen show sponsored by Verizon Wireless. When one watches Gossip Girl, it is impossible to notice that the camera tends to zoom into every actor’s new Verizon phone every ten minutes. Wherever we go, we simply cannot escape the consumer society we live in. That being said, I have no problem with ads being sent to the apps I use on my phone simply because I am so used to it.

    Also, when I thought about all of the ways businesses manipulate consumers in order to increase their revenues, I realized I would probably do the same if I were in their shoes. They have simply one target in mind: to sell the most of their products they possibly can. They are not non- profit organizations, providing services for the common good; they are running off of the money they rake in. If I were running my own business, I would go to any means to promote my company the most possible. Having an android phone myself, I have downloaded many apps. I am a HUGE fan of apps. Some of the apps I use for convenience and some I use for fun and entertainment.
    I honestly probably go app shopping every few days, excited about what new app I might find. I do recall that when I do download an app, there is a terms and condition page that users have to accept before accessing the app. I have never actually read through any of the clauses, I simply press OK in a hurry, not wanting to wait any longer to explore my newly discovered app. I would be surprised if other people my age did not do the same. That being said, I believe that even if apps asked for permission to disclose our information, most people would agree without even realizing it.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

  2. I disagree with Mitch that smart phone apps are extremely dangerous. I do understand that smart phone companies can collect and sell some personal information but that does not make them extremely dangerous. The information collected is basic information and not detailed confidential information, such as your credit card number or social security number. At the worst, it seems the information collected and sold is for marketing purposes and just creates more junk mail, which is not dangerous just annoying. There are a lot of useful apps, such as formula apps for math, the ESPN apps to help follow your favorite sport teams. The apps help you save time gathering information you commonly need, as you don’t have to search the internet but can just click on the app and instantly display what you need. One should always carefully review any agreement. If you don’t agree with what the company does with your information, then just simply don’t download the app.
    By: Cory Cantor

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 10, 2011 @ 10:25 pm | Reply


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