Robert McMillan reports:
When I downloaded the Flashlight app to my iPhone, I was in a jam. I was camping, I think. Or maybe a pen had rolled under my couch. I remember that smug sense of self-congratulation after I downloaded the software, which converted the iPhone’s LED flash into a steady and bright beam of light.
But I shouldn’t have been so pleased with myself. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was potentially handing over a boatload of data to advertisers as well. Even a flashlight app, it turns out, can ask for a shocking amount of user data when you download it, tapping everything from my calendar to my phone’s location engine to my camera. Yes, my camera. This is something you can keep in check, thanks to the privacy controls on today’s iPhone, but the truth is that most people don’t.
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