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How apps collect data from users through location tracking, know and avoid

Highlights:

  • Location Tracking by Application
  • How the app extracts users’ data
  • App can collect personal information from location data

Today, through the Internet, we are able to do tasks that were impossible to think about. With the help of internet, technology has increased so much that our normal mobile phone has become a smartphone. In today’s time, there are many apps in the phone, with the help of which we do many tasks. With the help of internet and these apps, data leaks and also threaten our privacy.

Many such incidents have come to light that the data of users has been leaked. Many smartphone users do not know that when the app is downloaded, they ask for many types of permission from the users and often the uneducated people give their permission. Here we are telling you how apps collect personal information of users through location tracking. Researcher has discovered how apps take our private data.
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For the first time, the reason why apps collect data of users from location tracking has been studied and it has been revealed. Research has shown how apps violate users’ privacy. Two researchers from University of Bologna and University College London participated in this research. Researcher has created a mobile app TrackingAdvisor for this which collects the location data of users continuously. App can collect personal information from location data. Data is collected from users through feedback and through ratings, so the users are not able to know anything.

Mirco Musolesi of the University of Bologna said that ‘users do not have any information about them, which they allow the app and service, especially the location tracking information.’
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Its information comes from machine learning technology. From this data, users get sensitive information such as where the user lives, what he does, what he likes, how many people are there and information about the personality of the user, etc. Through the TrackingAdvisor app included in the study, the researcher identified how the app extracts users’ data and the personal information of the users, from the things ACM’s work on interactive, mobile, wearable and ubiquitous technology.

For this study, 69 users used the TrackAdvisor app for two weeks. The TrackAdvisor app tracked over 2 lakh locations. After this, around 2,500 places were identified and more than 5,000 demographics and personal information of the users were extracted. The data collected revealed information about the users’ health, socio-economic status, work and religion-caste etc.

Musolesi said that ‘We believe that users need to see what kind of information they can collect through app location tracking. It is also important for us to know whether the users feel that this data taken by the app is correct or a violation of their privacy.

According to the researcher, such analysis has revealed how users’ data and their privacy are targeted through an advertising system. In this way, they will know how to protect their privacy, because the data collected from them is also very sensitive. Musolesi further said that ‘this kind of system has helped a lot, which came to know about the health of the users, as they get notifications every time they go to the clinic. This type of system should prevent the collection of sensitive data without approval.

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