Apps and Websites Leaking Personal Information

Have you ever wondered that how much cost you pay of using the “free” smartphone apps? Yes, it seems weird, but that is how it is. Most of the mobile apps and the online social media tool like Facebook, Google, etc. may not cost you, but they may prick in the shield of your privacy and expense you much lost. The research was done at the school of computer studies, Georgia Institute of Technology, about estimating the number of users who are paying for using the free mobile apps regarding their privacy.

Researchers have found that app marketing is leaking the personal information of thousands of mobile app users, including the data related to the money they earn, how many family members they have, and what are the political activities carrying out. This can cause the serious security threats for the nation too. We need to have a tough membrane between the networks and mobile app makers to avoid whole this issue.

How the leaking of information is carried out?

According to the Georgia research program, some facts are found regarding the functionality of this leakage which is given below:

  • The developers of mobile app select the in-app ads to use in their app design
  • Various ad networks pay to the app developers for showing the ads and monitoring the customer’s activity, gathering the app list, making models of the device, finding the location of users and so on.
  • On-set focusing, interest targeting, and demographic focusing
  • The ad network shows a proper and potential mobile app customers and gets pay for advertising the successful reviews or clicks through these ads
  • The in-app ads have shown the focused as content which is delivered to the app users and then engineered to build a portfolio for the app users.

The research revealed that more than 57% of the ad networks are for the 41% of the users whose interests match but more than this their demographics match with each other; more than 73% of the ad networks are for the 92% of the users who are related to their demographic data.

It was also found that a mobile app developer can learn the stuff about the user from these ad networks more readily, like:

  • Gender of user, with 75% accuracy
  • Marital status of user, with 66% accuracy
  • User’s source of Income, family members, and so on

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