August 3, 2012
Study Reveals a Confused View of Mobile Phone Privacy and Security
Smartphones store a wealth of valuable personal data—photos, videos, e-mail, texts, app data, GPS locations, and Web browsing habits—that is increasingly falling into the hands of advertisers, app makers, law enforcement, and crooks. MIT Technology Review reports via @jranck.
A survey published recently by the University of California, Berkeley, law researchers suggests there is a significant disconnect between many people's perception of the security and privacy of data on their smartphones, and the reality.
The majority of mobile phone users surveyed for the report said, for example, that they didn't like the idea of other people accessing the information stored on their mobile phones.
The reality is that millions of people already provide mobile data to marketers, business analysts, and law enforcement, often without their knowledge or consent.
Most of the people surveyed for the study said they believed law enforcement need special permission to access information on a phone. In fact, law enforcement can guess a password to unlock a confiscated device, and can impersonate the phone's owner by sending texts if the phone is unlocked. Neither activity has been struck down by the courts.
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