Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FutureWatch: Smartphones Always Snitch (Care to guess how this will be used?)

Sensors in smartphones collect data which can be used to identify you and pinpoint your location, regardless of your privacy settings, study finds...
Data gathered by smartphone sensors can be used to identify you, pinpoint your location and monitor your phone, irrespective of your privacy settings, new research has found.

Accelerometers, sensors used to track movement of smartphones, are used in countless apps, including pedometers, playing games and monitoring sleep. Research from the University of Illinois' Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering found that minuscule imperfections during the manufacturing process create a unique 'fingerprint' on the generated data.

The gathered data can be used to identify you as it is sent to the cloud for processing, bypassing privacy settings concerning the withholding of location data and with no need to discern your phone number or SIM card number, leaving you potentially vulnerable to cyber attack...

Graduate student Sanorita Dey said you can best protect yourself and your device by not sharing your accelerometer data without thinking about how legitimate or how secure that application is. (more)