On Monday, a trade group that represents the mobile advertising industry called for clearer policies regarding the gathering and use of user data. They intend to discuss it at a meeting next month. But while the issue of advertisers tracking people online has received some attention in recent weeks, the same can’t be said for apps.
Most people just find something that looks fun or helpful or interesting, they download it and they go. The page for the app doesn’t often detail what information they’ll be taking from you and how they’ll use it.
Scott Thrum from the Wall Street Journal tells us the most common form of data collection has to do with the unique ID of your mobile device. With that, advertisers can more accurately form a detailed and specific profile of you. Many apps also gather location data so they know where you live, where you work, where you like to go.
Many of these apps are big name brands. Angry Birds, Pandora, The New York Times. But the easy availability of apps means some real scam artists can sneak in there too, threatening not just your privacy but your security. Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer of the security company Veracode, tells us that by now a lot of people know how to spot a scam in a web browser but we have a lot of learning to do in the relatively new space of apps.
Also in this show, a call for George Jetson’s car to go into mass production. Sort of.
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