WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT ? HOW TO ACCESS TO IT ? HOW TO PREVENT IT ?
Big data, mobile, personalization, and GPS have put our personal information at the fingertips of private companies, and in turn, government agencies. A quarter century after the end of the communism it is ironic to see that capitalism is the new threat for privacy. Recently Apple and Google gave us a way to access most of the data they harvest.
1. Apple is tracking your every move.
Apple tracks and stores your every move. The latest change is you have a way to access to it, though Apple has never publicisized this fact. In order to see which locations Apple tracks on your phone, go to “Settings”, then “Privacy”, then “Location Services..” At the bottom of the Location Services page, select “System Services.” Go to the middle of the page and select “Frequent locations” and you will reach the list of places you’ve been. For each of them you will have access to the details with day, time, duration (1)…
Of course, Apple is following more than just location. As described in their privacy rules: “We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose…This non-personal data about how you use your device and applications, how you use our services, including search queries, occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, referrer URL, location, and the time zone. But also personal information such as “a variety of information, including your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, contact preferences, and credit card information”. All the information collected are available here.
2. Google records your location and your usage.
Even when Google maps is off, Google tracks where you go.
Google and Apple have good intentions. Data collection improves the service, in order to generate better usage, better application, more relevant and better performing advertising. It therefore benefits of the company, as well as the customer.
The challenge is that data can go at any time to third party, and it includes of course, any government organisation. This transparency doesn’t solve the privacy problem, but merely underlines it. We will explore this topic in the next post.
(1) a great thanks to Peter and Rajeev for revealing to me this hidden feature.