Privacy – layers of disclosure through people

There has been a lot of furore about apps that you may download to your iPhone or Android phone which then extract more personal data than you may have thought was necessary for their purposes.  Recent examples are accessing your private address book or your location.  These things do matter and you should be aware of what each app does – but the truth is that it is very difficult to know and police for the average user.

However, what if you are careful and read all the privacy policies for apps and the rest – all is then OK isn’t it?  Well not 100%, no.  If you use Facebook and have your settings set to Friends only to see your data and you’re careful what apps you use surely there is no issue?   Well no.  If a friend uses an app, that app can have access to whatever your friend sees, including your data.


Yes that’s right, your friend can use an app without you knowing that can then send your data to that app’s owners.  See the security options to the right to see that nearly all your data can be sent to an app you have no knowledge of if used by a friend.  You can switch off this sharing of your data by friends to apps they use by unchecking the boxes.

So why raise this issue now?  Primarily, to show that Privacy is a many-layered item – it’s not just what you share with whom, but what your friends choose to share with whom too – whether that is knowingly or unknowingly.  However, it’s not just the people domain, the time domain matters as well – I’ll blog about that later this week.

About Julian Ranger

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Posted on April 11, 2012, in Privacy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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