Deborah M. Todd reports:
On its surface, the app economy has led smartphone owners to an era of wanting for nothing. Lost? Download one of hundreds of map apps for the quickest route to Point B. Lonely? A treasure trove of apps can point you toward nearby singles, teach you a few pick-up lines then book movie tickets and restaurant reservations for the first date.
All access, all seemingly complementary.
Beneath the user-friendly interfaces, apps are quietly collecting payment for their services. Whether it’s identifying your location, a backdoor entrance to your address books or a glimpse inside your smartphone camera, apps and the third-party companies that have paid their way into the app’s infrastructure are stockpiling personal information to create individual consumer portraits designed to bring advertisers the ultimate payday.
Considering that hundreds of pieces of information can be collected from apps in a single day, according to a recent Carnegie Mellon University study, it’s becoming clear that the actual price of a free smartphone app might be your identity.
Read more on Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Then think about this report by Angela Moscaritolo:
Big businesses are allocating millions of dollars every year towards app development, but many are leaving out one important step: securing their apps against cyberattacks.
According to a new study from the Ponemon Institute and IBM, nearly 40 percent of large companies — including many in the Fortune 500 — aren’t taking the right precautions to secure their mobile apps. The study, which researched security practices in more than 400 large organizations, found “major security flaws” in the ways most businesses build and deploy mobile apps for their customers.
Read more on PC World.
Taken together, these studies highlight how very much at risk the privacy and security of your information remains.