Are all smartphones the same as Spy-Phones?
Smartphones are our daily companions these days. We take the smartphone with us everywhere. Some people also take it to the toilet to replace the magazine.
But smartphones also transmit a lot of user data back to the manufacturers, or even to the programmers of apps, or the companies behind the apps.
So Google, Apple and Co always know when, where and which smartphone was first started and thus activated. But not only that, but also the number of installed apps, the mobile phone provider and a lot more data is transmitted back home at the very first start, and beyond, of the mobile phone.
But not only Google or Apple collect data, but also apps. WhatsApp regularly reads the contacts stored on the mobile phone, Facebook regularly transmits the GPS position and many other meta data to the home.
Germany’s former data protection commissioner criticizes criticized criticized in the Datenschutzforum.
The big problem for smartphone users is that it is hardly possible, if at all, to understand when which location data is collected, to whom it is transmitted and how and for how long it is stored. In the best case, individual applications “ask” for consent to transmit location data, whereby consent is not only a prerequisite for the use of services for which such data is actually required (e.g. for navigation). For the smartphone I used, for example, an app required access to location data, the sole purpose of which was to use the smartphone as a “flashlight”.
Smartphones are, directly or indirectly, also small bugs that accompany us daily in life and that we buy voluntarily and install apps that may monitor us even deeper.