Just how much data could governments get from apps?

by Andrew Roach on January 28, 2014

The constant fallout from last year’s PRISM scandal has led many people to look at the mobile world in a whole different way especially when it comes to giving out personal data.

Although many people were more vigilant towards telecom companies, many people still trusted apps with their information on regular basis although this could have been a costly mistake.

In new revelations from infamous whistlebower Edward Snowden, it seems that intelligence officials from agencies across the world have accessed apps to learn where mobile users may be.

The problem has seemingly affected many of the top apps on mobile phones including Angry Birds and Google Maps for most major platforms.

This latest hammerblow will surely catch many people by surprise considering the rather innocuous nature of some of the apps involved in the scandal.

After all, most users would not think that the NSA, CSIC or GCHQ would turn to an innocent game such as Angry Birds to track potential suspects yet this does seem to be the case.

Although the methods about how information was retrieve have not been revealed, the latest leaks seem to suggest that the agencies could quickly build up a profile of someone such as their location and political allegiance.

Alongside those problems, it’s also been found that anyone using social networks such as Facebook or Flickr were also at risk with authorities supposingly able to earn which sites someone has visited and who their close friends were by accessing the apps.

Understandably, many of the agencies have been quick to dismiss the latest revelations with the NSA telling the press: “We collect only those communications that we are authorized by law to collect for valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes — regardless of the technical means used by the targets.”

With these accusations raising more concern about the security of our activity on mobile devices, the murky debate over data privacy is set to rage on with everyone seeking answers as to what exactly goes on and how secure information is when it is given.

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Written by: Andrew Roach www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube

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January 31, 2014 at 5:52 am

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