Have you ever downloaded an app and been shocked by the level of access that it requests on your phone? For some apps, it’s wise to hesitate before clicking “Accept.” For example, you probably remember the once-prolific game Angry Birds. It was one of the most popular mobile games ever developed, but people didn’t realize that the app was actually collecting location data and selling it to advertisers (according to this NYT article). Even more surprising was that the popular “Brightest Flashlight” app did the same (according to this 60 Minutes article).
Make Sure your Apps are Super Secure
Apple recently took a stand on this issue when they presented HealthKit for iOS 8. HealthKit aggregates the user’s health data into one location in order to better understand their health and level of activity. In addition, other app developers can access this information for use in their own app. You can probably see the potential problem here – an app developer could access this information and sell it, even if Apple wasn’t selling it directly. Thankfully, Apple has very explicitly stated that app developers can not pass on this information to any third parties (according to this VentureBeat article).