App privacy concerns are a big deal to today’s smartphone users. Status updates, sharing photos, checking in at a favorite restaurant… And it’s still the wild west for smartphone apps. Most apps have been around less than 5 years. Check out this important update on app privacy from ITM Computing.

Smartphone app privacy concerns.

Smartphone & App Growth Soars (Credit: historilla)

Smartphone App Privacy Concerns

With more Americans using smartphones daily, it’s important to understand how your private data is used. The Federal Trade Commission (F.T.C.) thinks so too.

Here’s a common list of the data your apps may be tracking or using:

  • Location (even when the app is closed!)
  • Phone ID
  • Phone Number
  • Contacts List / Address Book
  • Age / Gender and other demographic info

That’s right, some apps are accessing your address book, or tracking your location even when closed. Others may default to post status updates on your Facebook page.

Right now, app privacy concerns are a BIG deal.

Last Friday, the F.T.C. warned mobile app develops to build opt-outs and other safeguards into apps. This is great news!

The F.T.C.’s statement comes on the heels of charges leveled at the Path social networking app. Path violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting kids’ info without parents’ consent. Path is paying $800,000 to settle these charges.

Tip: Be careful of smartphone apps that post your location on social media sites. Also, pay attention to personal information (like birthdays) you are sharing online.

Placing limits on app developers is essential. Consumers need control over the data they’re sharing. And developers need to make it easier for consumers to opt-out of sharing.

We’ll keep you updated via our blog as these app privacy concerns evolve. Tell us your thoughts. What do you think about the data your apps collect? Does it change which apps you use? We’re curious!