Have you ever bothered that every time you enter a restaurant or a store, does your cell phone suggest you check-in or leave a critic, even when your GPS is turned off? Definitely the Google knows where you are, but in reality your apps (and anyone behind them) can know much more using the most unexpected tools.
The usual suspects
Most basic features on your mobile phone require your permission to use: camera, microphone, location service and so on. Applications are required to request this permission and we all give it without hesitation if we want to use them. In most cases, apps do nothing wrong with this data, but they may sell them to advertisers.
1) Location service. If you go to your phone's Privacy section and check Location, you'll see a very detailed history of where you were recently. This helps Google provide you with optimal routes and suggest restaurants, shops, etc. But in the wrong hands this information could be a real weapon.
2) H Camera it can also provide a lot of information about where you are. Some malicious apps can be disguised as something else (like note-taking applications), ask for and license our camera and then take pictures without knowing it, sending them ... who knows where?
3) Microphone. If you allow an application to use the mobile microphone, it can turn it on at any time to record what you're saying.
Spyware - good and bad
Another way to monitor what someone is doing on their mobile is spyware: Applications that often require the physical possession of another person's phone for a few minutes to install the malware, which then send screenshots, message replicas and email to the person paying the subscription for spyware. This may seem like something dangerous, but in reality spyware is pursuing important and often vital goals. For example, they are often used by parents worried about their children - and there are many cases where such applications prevent suicide, kidnapping, or even rape.
The only problem with spyware is that the application must be reliable and honest, otherwise it can send the data it collects to anyone else. Unfortunately, many applications that are supposed to be designed to monitor children or employees actually serve to steal PINs, passwords and money.
The methods of spying on the future
Your phone has many features and sensors that can be used without permission because they are not considered dangerous. And yet, in the future, such innocent features as the accelerometer, barometer, and motion sensors can help advertisers (and criminals) learn everything about you.
- The accelerometers they can transmit data every time you start or stop moving (like when you enter a metro train when you exit it, etc.), possibly revealing your itinerary.
- The motion sensors they reveal how you use your phone, something that happens every time you touch its screen. This can be used to uncover the numbers you tap on the touch screen when you enter a credit card PIN, for example or something else you type.
– Barometer - This sensor can be used to determine your altitude - that is, on which floor you are, by providing additional information about your location.
– Ultrasonic beacons - these are signals embedded in some apps and TV ads that help identify a person's location and actions.
It seems that potential criminals and companies trying to find out about you have a wide arsenal, which is going to become even wider in the years to come. Natural companies such as Google, Apple and other manufacturers are engaged in creating applications that will protect you and prevent accidental services from getting licensed to prevent your data from leaking.
However, the primary responsibility lies with us: we should never forget that there is no real privacy on the internet - and that our phone can watch and listen to us at any time.