Mobile privacy - What lurks behind the booming mobile industry and the dangers it faced.
17-Oct-2011 | News-Press Release
Mobile phone and its usage have now accelerated to incredible heights from what was initially a luxury that only a few can afford. According to the British Retail Consortium, consumers in the UK are increasingly turning to use mobile search as a way to find their information on retailers and products. The mobile web, unlike its desktop counterpart is often featured as a small and stripped down version that fits only the mobile screen.
Mobile search engines and mobile social networks have openly acknowledged that they have procured the mobile user’s data and personal information that they stored in their mobile devices as a way to collect information and broadcast targeted ads that suited these people’s personal interests. This practice is now a growing concern whether can mobile privacy be put on top of priorities of mobile users.
While there have been waves of cybercrimes as of late due to the lax of cyber security, this does not mean that your mobile privacy is violated. Just as it is, the federal lawmakers in the United States of America were debating to draft new cyberprivacy laws to protect consumers’ information from being abused.
Many users have failed to realize that the convenience of using apps nowadays relied heavily collected user data to have the information grabbed from their mobile phones. For example, geo-tagging apps like Foursquare is essentially a way to inform people on where you are, yet it exposes you to unexplainable dangers for constantly revealing where they are, which is a risk in security. Privacy become violated because in order to keep up with playing this app, users have to always expose where they are before collecting virtual achievements. GPS softwares that are available in almost all high-end smartphones come with the technology that uses the satellite to give you real-time navigation, even capable of measuring a person’s heartbeat. These apps have infiltrate and invade our personal privacy multiple times and yet we have nothing against it.
As more and more people jumped on the bandwagon to using smartphone, phone manufacturers feel the pressure to meet certain expectations in the market or push their phones early, so they may have a ton of sweet features but it doesn’t prioritise beefing up security measures, leaving the phone to become highly vulnerable to attacks such as phone hacking. Open source phone OS like the Android has also been reported recently by Computerworld that to be more susceptible to malware and hacking more than other phones and OS. A study by McAfee has confirmed that the amount of malware targeted at Android based devices has surpassed even Nokia’s Symbian as the most popular target for mobile malware developers. It said malware like Zitmo is capable of affect anything in the mobile from the calendar apps, to text messages and even fake apps updates.
These malware and viruses also often disguised themselves as mobile ads or short URLs that once clicked, can be used to phish or steal data out of our mobile devices. This leaves authentic and genuine ads to be considered as fraud ads and will most likely be ignored and users will not be receptive to these ads, as shown in a survey by YouGov that consumers pay high trust to mobile advertisements as long as they offer some value in return. This also hampers efforts to grow the mobile market with these irresponsible actions, and currently in the USA, several governmental sectors are in serious talks to have new additions into cybersecurity laws to beef up the measures in order to protect its citizens from being violated on privacy.
However, a news report found on the Business Insider said mobile apps are too early in development and the mobile economy has yet to be established, thus even if they tighten cybersecurity laws, it will only serve as part of the solution and it will not eliminate the core problem.
With these issues in mind, and with the mobile technology growing much faster when everything else is on a setback, it is no wonder why mobile device privacy sparked so much discussions, to the point that it is deemed a controversy as this gets rapid discussions again and again. But is it really a big issue? If so, what are the remedies to this invasion of privacy through these little devices?
Don’t miss out on next week’s article where we discuss the seriousness of mobile phone privacy and some solutions to curb the problem.
This is an article provided by MobGold. MobGold is the network developer that moderates MobGold Network, a mobile advertising network and mobile transaction solutions provider for advertisers, brand owners, publishers, network operators, web portals and mobile phone retailers who wish to monetize their users' traffic around the world. For more information visit http://www.mobgold.com
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