In 1983, when the band The Police released the hit song, Every Breath You Take, I am sure they had no idea its lyrics would so aptly describe how smartphones can be used today. From services to apps, users of smartphones are unwittingly consenting to being tracked in real-time by a multitude of companies for the purposes of providing “requested features, integrations, user experience improvements,” and many other laudable-sounding reasons. What is not known by many users is that detailed information on their precise location and activity is being beaconed out by their phone and collected, shared, and sold to numerous organizations that aggregate these data sources with others to build a user profile that would make spy agencies and repressive governments green with envy.
The necessity and utility of smartphones is unarguable in today’s society. This article is not intended to suggest that individuals discard them. Instead, its purpose is to provide some insight into the unintended privacy and security implications of using smartphones. In addition, the recommendations detailing steps to limit what personal information is shared are not meant to be comprehensive; they only provide some level of awareness and control. Unfortunately, you can implement all of the suggested security and privacy controls listed below and still be tracked with full fidelity.
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