September 19, 2012
Privacy fears on apps that track you
Privacy experts are drawing attention to analytics firms that monitor when, where and how people are using apps. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
RMIT cyber security expert Dr Mark Gregory said a ''huge market'' had developed in analysing what people were doing on their phones.
A US company called Flurry Analytics for example, tracks 1.4 billion app sessions a day from more than 600 million mobile smartphones and tablets. It offers more than 70,000 companies the chance to ''identify your best segments by demographics, interest, geography, usage and more''. ''Absolutely everyone is interested in that information,'' Dr Gregory said.
Mr Soltani is one of three researchers behind a new web-based product called MobileScope designed to monitor everything that flows from mobile devices through apps.
At present MobileScope is only available to app developers and privacy researchers, but Mr Cortesi said the company hoped to offer it to the public soon.
''MobileScope can theoretically see everything,'' Mr Cortesi said. ''Your email, your tweets, everything that passes on the wire, we'll be able to see. With great power comes great responsibility. It's a powerful perspective to be in but also something where we need to be dang sure that the data can be treated appropriately.''
Mr Cortesi said the public mood was beginning to shift on the balance between the convenience offered by apps and the importance of data protection.
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