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PoliCon
12-19-2010, 02:17 AM
By SCOTT THURM and YUKARI IWATANI KANE

Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner's real name—even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off.

These phones don't keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

*

An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps"—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.

The findings reveal the intrusive effort by online-tracking companies to gather personal data about people in order to flesh out detailed dossiers on them.

Among the apps tested, the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Because of the test's size, it's not known if the pattern holds among the hundreds of thousands of apps available.

Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone's unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone's zip code, along with the user's age and gender, to two of them.

Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone's ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies.

CONTINUED (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602.html?m od=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories)

linda22003
12-20-2010, 11:28 AM
There's a lot of GPS info in all this stuff too. If your phone is on, you can be found pretty easily. I'm never getting one of these.

Gingersnap
12-20-2010, 11:36 AM
Tech needs love too!

I still don't actually carry the cell phone I bought for a special purpose. It's a dumb one, too. Nobody needs any more information about me. Ever. :mad:

PoliCon
12-20-2010, 06:43 PM
I keep the GPS in my phone turned off.

Gingersnap
12-20-2010, 08:51 PM
I keep the GPS in my phone turned off.

You mean you remove the battery? I thought that was the only actual way to disable GPS. :confused:

Rockntractor
12-20-2010, 08:53 PM
You mean you remove the battery? I thought that was the only actual way to disable GPS. :confused:
Don't most people who have ever actually had contact with Poli try to lose him?:confused:

PoliCon
12-20-2010, 09:05 PM
You mean you remove the battery? I thought that was the only actual way to disable GPS. :confused:

not in mine - you get the option of turning it off.

Gingersnap
12-20-2010, 09:07 PM
not in mine - you get the option of turning it off.

Hah, hah! You mean you have the option of pretending to turn it off. Good one!

Rockntractor
12-20-2010, 09:10 PM
not in mine - you get the option of turning it off.
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/gullible_ext.jpg

PoliCon
12-20-2010, 09:12 PM
Hah, hah! You mean you have the option of pretending to turn it off. Good one!

:p it only comes on if I dial 911.

Rockntractor
12-20-2010, 09:13 PM
:p it only comes on if I dial 911.
Or if the gubmint wants it to!:rolleyes:

PoliCon
12-20-2010, 09:32 PM
Or if the gubmint wants it to!:rolleyes:

and what reason do they have to want to know where I am? It's not like I have ever typed anything online about killing YOU KNOW WHO or anything like that. :p


:confused:Do I hear a helicopter?? :eek:

enslaved1
12-21-2010, 10:56 PM
Hanging around hacker/phreak sites, reading 2600 and Phrack, and listening to Off The Hook and talks from the HOPE conferences tells me that smart phones store and send a disturbing amount of data about their owners. I'm not to the paranoid point that I don't want one, but when I do get one there will be a lot of research on what OS it has and what apps get put on it.