In a recent study, two research specialists Mirco Musolesi of the University of Bologna in Italy and Benjamin Baron of University College London in the UK shed light on how much data location-tracking apps collect.
This study backs all previous dogmas believed about privacy theft and shows how private and personal information is targeted and then gathered by the location-tracking apps.
The study is based on the findings from using TrackAdvisor App. The researchers used it to identify the private data collected by the location tracking app.
The app consistently obtained personal information and extorted private data. And then, selected users for the study would rate in terms of privacy vulnerability.
According to the study, the TrackAdvisor app had 69 users, utilizing the app for two weeks. And meanwhile, it tracked 200,000 locations that led to the identification of 2,500 places. It also gathered 5000 items of private data involving demographics and character.
The app required permission to collect data such as user health, socio-demography, race, and religion.
The companies sell, manage, and interpret that data for advertisers, retail businesses, and even hedge funds understanding consumer behavior. While location-targeted advertising interactions reach a predicted $21 billion this year, it’s bound to be a hot market.
If you’re one of those who are data-sensitive or don’t want your data collected, it would be a good idea to go into your device settings and change the permission configuration for all the location tracking apps.
One of the researchers, Musolesi, stated that “We think it is important to show users the amount and quality of information that apps can collect through location tracking. And it is equally important for us is to understand whether users think that sharing information with app managers or marketing firms is acceptable or deem it a violation of their privacy.”
The investigation, termed “Where You Go Matters: A Study on the Privacy Implications of Continuous Location Tracking,” appeared in the journal “Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies.”