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September 18, 2019
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Technology Top Stories

Beware: Smartphones help invading your privacy

Technology has made life wonderful but has taken a toll on our privacy. According to a study, smartphones are likely to reveal our private information. This is because of the smartphone apps which are location sensitive and the sharing of personal information online has led to zero privacy of the users.

The news study explains how smartphones are diminishing our privacy.

The study contends that ‘dynamic visibility’ in which technological surveillance is combined with personal information given by the users online has weakened the privacy.

“Technology is not only used top-down but also bottom-up, with individuals using their own technological devices to share and enhance their visibility in space,” said Tali Hatuka, Head of the Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

“Whenever we use ‘location-aware’ devices, or tap on Waze or dating apps, like Tinder, or check-in on Facebook, we are really diminishing our own privacy,” Hatuka said.

“This combination of secret surveillance and voluntary sharing contributes to a sense of ‘being exposed’ in a public space that normalizes practices of sharing personal data by individuals,” she said.

The study observed the differences among sharing preferences in different types of spaces but they were overshadowed by the overwhelming willingness of participants to share their location with their social networks.

The research designed an app, Smart-Spaces to gather information for the study. The app combines the smart-phone surveys with the online tracking of locations and phone application usage.

This app was installed for 20 days on the phones of students, who responded to context-based surveys in the course of their daily routines. Each student was interviewed before and after the installation of app.

The results revealed more than 73% who shared their locations as they answered the survey.