In our phone, You will have many types of applications. Many useful Applications may not pre-installed in the phone by default. So you download apps like document scanner, themes, daily useful apps like flashlight etc. It is pretty common nowadays.
Some of these apps are so useful & helpful. And, The concern is not why you have so many apps. But, You may not know the unethical internal working of these apps. Before getting into those details. Let’s ask yourself a few open questions.
- Have you ever wondered why these apps are free for everyone?
- What does a particular app get in return? You have not paid anything for that app.
- Google play does not charge to the user but they charge to register apps. So, Why Apps are free?
One thing we all should understand about apps that there are no free apps. In other words, There is no free lunch. Nothing is free for sure. Even Google is not a free service provider. Otherwise how would generate 12 Billion per year as their profit.
So, How does an app make money?
If we just talk about apps, Ads banners in apps is a common methodology to generate revenue but nowadays surveillance economy is on the boom. Below snapshot shows that a torch (flashlight) application is asking permissions on your locations, your phone calls, Camera, contacts, messages etc.
Have you ever wondered why a simple torch application needs to access your messages, contact list & phone calls? Why on earth a torch app needs access to phone calls to run a simple flashlight?
This is the unethical surveillance business of these applications. They access everything from your phone. These apps collect user data & sell to other vendors & services. Then other services provide content, ads on the other apps name of personalization. Every organization, apps, website etc are after your personal data & interested in your life, day to day activity. In a way, it is white-collar hacking.
Another example of surveillance. The truth of IOT Devices: Amazon Echo is not just a radio or music player. It is a surveillance device who actually spy on you when you have a private conversation with your wife, kids etc. Below Link is proof that the Echo does spy on homes.
What’s wrong if an app asks for these permissions?
Ignorance of the users & poor understand of these apps technology is not a problem. Problem is that these apps are not mean to do what they are doing. These apps have a higher level of access and if they wish they could target individuals or hack individual. Who knows what these apps are doing?
The user never wishes to share their contact details with apps but many apps do not even ask for permissions. Apps just steal all the user information. Even Google has started banning some of the apps.
Final Thought: The purpose of the cyber article is not to scare anyone. You should know & be aware of what you are downloading & what a particular downloaded app is doing? Awareness is the key in the cyber world.
Ask right questions is your right and you should be asking.