What Do Phone Apps Know About You


We all love gifts. Especially if you get them for free or for having to do so little – like helping South Africa secure the right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup for a small gift amounting to $10 million.

So, let’s stick to the topic since all of you are giving many gifts away just by using your phones. And by that I don’t mean text message poetry also known as sexting. So: what kind of gifts are you sending to your phone apps? What does Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype and Gmail know about you?

Let’s establish some basic facts first: everyone knows that iPhones are superior to Samsungs, or at least they are considered to be prettier. However, if you are an iOS user who’s about to download an app, your privacy is breached before you have opened the app. Your iPhone won’t inform you what drawbacks is the app usage connected with, because why would it. iPhone is pretty… and that should suffice. However, when I had to accept the App Store terms of use, I was supposed to go through a 74 pages agreement. 74 pages! They could have inserted Mein Kampf and everyone would have clicked the accept button.

However, I digress. What does Instagram know about us? Instagram has access to 16 different information types. It is able to, for example:

-Record audio

-Take pictures and videos

-Retrieve running apps

Twitter has access to 23 different information types. It can:

-View Wi-Fi networks

-Read Google service configuration

-Use accounts on the device

Gmail has acces to 27 information types. It is able to:

-Read & modify your contacts

-Write call log

-Read sync statistics

Skype is able to access 33 information types. It can:

-Directly call phone numbers

-Read phone status and identity

-Modify system settings

And now our winner: Facebook. It to 42 different information types, which is, even more than I expect from my future boyfriend. It can:

-Downloads files without notification

-Read calendar events plus confidential information

-Read call log

Enjoy using your phone. After all, it is your private device keeping more than one naked photo secret.