The following post was written by Davina Jackson, incoming freshman in the BETAA Program. Please welcome her with an encourging comment in the comment box. Davina has agreed to post here occasionally to encourage her fellow BETAA classmates. Well done Davina, welcome to the blog.
You Are Being Watched: Google and Apple Inc’s Smartphones the key
The Wall Street Journal had been exclusively looking into an intricate issue that raises concerns about public privacy. The Android smart phone has been a consumer sensation, skyrocketing in sales since its début to the phone market worldwide. Although there may be an underlying issue that consumers should be concerned about, as researchers and a former hacker are: the privacy issue. It’s been confirmed that the Android smart phones released have their exclusive ways of pinpointing where the phone is and when, sending the data back to the company. What the company does with the information is solely up to them, and that’s what those concerned are alarmed in, as should the consumer be.
I do not own a smart phone nor wish to purchase one in the future. I have a small Nokia flip phone through the much smaller company T-Mobile. T-Mobile is in itself a large company, especially after merging with AT&T which saddens me, yet it is much smaller than both Google and Apple Inc. I couldn’t imagine a company such as T-Mobile having this feature within these older, lesser popular flip phones with a new phone coming out practically every few months or so. Though after the merge, it is possible for companies to start taking after their larger competitors in the long run, however this is just my own speculation.
Google and Apple Inc, unlike T-Mobile, have already put their methods into work and have been feeding their databases for quite some time now. “These databases could help them tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services—expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014, according to research firm Gartner Inc.” (Angwin 1) Samy Kamkar, formerly convicted by Los Angeles Superior Court in 2005 for shutting down Myspace, has been one of the research security analysts on the case of both companies and their building of databases. According to Kamkar, Google Androids collected the whereabouts of phones several times a day and carried the information back to their database multiples times by the hour. Apple admits to “intermediately” collect location data by sending information every 12 hours. Whether it is every hour or every 12 hours, third party companies may end up getting a hold of this information without the phone user even knowing about it. The companies have come under fire for this, and have written letters for self-defense purposes.
Thanks for your attention.