Apple likes to tell their customers that what happens on the iPhone stays on the iPhone, but is it really true? One reporter from the Washington Post took a deeper look into the claim with surprising results. What he found out was that the opposite may be true.
According to the report from the Post, it doesn’t really matter when your phones not in use, that device is still probably very busy sharing your data with a whole network of partners in some sort of complex web of data-crunching servers all linking back to various apps you might have innocently installed once upon a time. This even includes many popular apps such as Spotify, Yelp and even apps like Door Dash which all use third party tracking apps to collect this information from its userbase.
It’s important to note that not all data tracking is nefarious in nature, in fact most of it isn’t, especially coming from many of those big names in the app store. However, despite much of this data-tracking business being for the purpose of improving the customer experience with any particular app it’s still a bit disconcerting to know your data is being hot-swapped with ease between different locations when you’re not even using your phone, most of it being done in the background.
Well, according to Apple their position is as a defender of user privacy while many of the other major tech giants such as Facebook and Google have struggled in recent light with some very intense scrutiny over how they’ve chosen to handle their own user data.
Apple’s own CEO Tim Cook has called privacy “a fundamental human right” and pits Apple’s own business model in contrast with some of their rivals in the tech industry. They’ve even taken steps to block Facebook’s developer access app for any uses which are deemed a violation of Apple’s privacy policies. Big steps when considering Facebook has such a wide grasp of the tech-communications market world wide.
The writer of that Washington Post article mentioned earlier had his iPhone tested by a company which specializes in identifying and blocking trackers, they found out that his particular phone was sending upwards of over 5,000 trackers of information out in any given week… what an insane number!
Is Data Privacy Even Real?
It all sounds pretty good on those dull electronic forms you have to ‘accept’ before being allowed to even run and use a new app on your phone, but is your data actually save from prying eyes?
Well, not really but that doesn’t mean it’s in any danger of falling into the wrong hands either, or falling into anybody’s hands for that matter. Most of this exchange of data takes place over networks of computers and data processing centers which won’t even be seen by human eyes for the most part. It all goes into statistical analysis and performance reports for the majority of it. Granted there are always possibilities of some rogue employee digging around somewhere they have access to in order to misuse or mishandle your data but the chances of this happening are ultra rare and investigations are set in place upon the discovery of any such occurrences.
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The Best Way To Protect Yourself
There’s really no simple cookie-cutter solution to this I’m afraid. Your best course of action is to stay vigilant, always review those terms and agreements before accepting them and if you don’t feel comfortable with anything you see then look into it online before going any further with that particular app.
There are tons of tech related blogs and websites which specialize in reviewing these apps and many of them chime in with their own well informed ideas of what direction you should take, so just a few minutes worth of research could save you a big headache in the future.