Tag Archives: mobile apps

Data, data everywhere… Prediction Three

I started this series of blog with my concerns at the amount of data that exist today. You can read the blog here.

After this blog i took the hat of an astrologer and started prediction…😀. My prediction one can be read as a blog here.

My second prediction can be read here.

My next prediction is in the area of mobile apps. Again, this is also very much inline with what i have been raising throughout this blog series.

Mobile apps today asks for various permission to use a number of device features. Once you allow, you don’t even know what all you allowed at a later stage. You have to dig hard (going through various taps and screens) to find these permissions and then disable it if you don’t want them to be used by these apps.

My prediction is that similar to browser, everything would be disabled by default. While installing also, these app vendors cannot ask to accept these permissions. Rather, when they start using that particular feature, app need to ask permission, each and every-time. What i mean by that is, whenever app tries to use a feature, it asks explicitly for what permission and then have to exactly say how this permission will be used. In addition, soon after its use, it again goes back into disabled mode.

As mentioned in my previous blogs, this is going to be tedious for customers/users. But, this is something which OS can take care and if due to any reason user feels tapping on these permission dialogs every-time tedious, they have a provision of enabling it for a period of time (say a weeks time, or a months time). After allowed period expires, again it goes back to disabled mode.

“Remember me” functionality in many websites, nowadays does have a provision of remembering username/password for a period, other than having it never for rest of the life (for a particular allowed browser).

Assume you allowed a particular app access to read gallery (pictures, videos etc..). You really don’t have any clue how and when these apps would be reading these files from your phone. Nowadays, every company in this world is trying to be so intelligent that they are ready to decipher an image, content of a video and so on, quite easily. Some pictures in your gallery would be very personal in nature and you don’t have any clue what these apps are deciphering meanings from these pictures. Also, these could be read and then stored in their digital asset library forever (for various purposes).

I am not saying that these apps would be using these gallery items in a bad way but if someone gets access to these content and then start using these in an unethical manner, its going to be really troubling for you and me.

Recently i did read (somewhere, i don’t remember) that a popular company gave their employees (mainly in support area) access to huge amount of personal data along with real-time information as to where their customers travel (where they start a journey, where they end the journey, what time of day journey took place and so on.) and then they used this information in an unethical manner for their own benefits.

The above is just one such incident and i am sure there are so many such instances out there. With more and more data available about you (with these app vendors), such misuse are bound to be a common problem going forward. Also, you have voluntarily given access to these data without much thought process and because of this you cannot raise any complaints but i am sure this will have huge repercussions on you going forward, which you are not aware off.

Think of such negative scenarios as well when you go ahead and click on “Allow” button on your phones going forward. I am sure there are so many positive aspects to share these data but over period of time, there will be so many negative aspects which could haunt you.

Mind you, its very hard to wipe your digital signature. If you think you have clicked on a particular picture and clicked delete. This in no way mean that the vendor will actually delete that picture. They could just make that picture as “ready for delete” and just leave it.

With AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) becoming strong day by day, i am sure these big names in technology would want to find out as to why you deleted that particular image and would try to put some intelligence and then can use that as a way to haunt you with something down the line.

These are just my thoughts. Yes, i might be thinking too much here…🤓

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