The latest news regarding the NSA gathering information on almost everyone has a lot of people concerned about their privacy. This is the very reason why a group of researchers have come up with an Android app that notifies users whenever an app in their device tries to track their location.
Lead project developer Janne Lindqvist who is an assistant professor at Rutgers University says that while there is already a tiny icon in the Android interface that notifies users when location information is being accessed by an app only a few people notice this or even understand what it means. The app that they are developing prominently places a banner warning on top of the app saying for example that “Your location is accessed by Angry Birds.”
According to Lindqvist Android users who were able to test the app were shocked at how frequently apps were tracking their location. “People were really surprised that some apps were accessing their location, or how often some apps were accessing their location.”
A recent survey conducted by Pew Research shows that 20 percent of smartphone owners had to disable the location information on their apps while 70 percent wanted to know the details of the location data the apps were collecting. Lindqvist says that one of the primary goals in creating the app is to let Google and other app developers be more transparent in the location data that they collect as well as providing the user with the control over which data they would like the app to see.
One of the reasons why apps collect location information is that it makes it easier to target a user for specific ads. The problem with this is that your location data is being passed around to other advertising companies.
The app is currently being prepared to be added at the Google Play Store and if everything goes well it should become available within two months.
With mobile devices becoming very popular these days it’s no wonder that these devices are being targetted in gathering information about its user. We are hoping that we will see more apps that prevent other app from leaking personal information.