Most users are unaware that one of closest partner (your smartphone) could indirectly be betraying you. The smartphone could be innocent but the apps you installed on it can be tracking you and selling your location data, an invasion of privacy that is happening without many users knowing about it.
One need to be very careful with his/her privacy as this has become a major threat in this digital age, but the question is how do I protect myself?
A report by The Wall Street Journal says smartphone location data is being sold, often without a user’s knowledge.
This means that whenever you authorize an app to access your location, there is a risk that data will be shared with agencies for use in location-aware advertising.
Users should know that every time they allow an app to track their location, they may also be allowing that app to sell their location data. The information is purchased by advertisers and used for initiatives such as “location-aware advertising,” which serves ads to users depending on where they are. The location data is considered very valuable by marketers, as $16 billion were spent on location-targeted ads last year – which amounts to about 40% of all mobile ad spending.
What is The Solution To This Data Leak?
The only way out is to deactivate location services. unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Some of the world’s most popular apps will not work without being able to track the user’s locations.
In addition, turning off location services may not protect you completely, as carriers can still track where you are through the cell towers that you are connected to and a smartphone’s MAC address can still be picked up by open Wi-Fi hotspots.