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你的手机在偷窥你Your Apps Are Watching You

时间:2010-12-31 19:54  作者:admin  来源:www.2abc8.com

  你的手机在偷窥你Your Apps Are Watching You

  Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner's real name—even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off.

  These phones don't keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

  An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps"—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.

  The findings reveal the intrusive effort by online-tracking companies to gather personal data about people in order to flesh out detailed dossiers on them.

  WSJ's Julia Angwin explains to Simon Constable how smartphone apps collect and broadcast data about your habits. Many don't have privacy policies and there isn't much you can do about it.

  Among the apps tested, the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Because of the test's size, it's not known if the pattern holds among the hundreds of thousands of apps available.

  Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone's unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone's zip code, along with the user's age and gender, to two of them.

  Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone's ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies.

  "In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity," says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is "always with us. It's always on."

  iPhone maker Apple Inc. says it reviews each app before offering it to users. Both Apple and Google say they protect users by requiring apps to obtain permission before revealing certain kinds of information, such as location.

  "We have created strong privacy protections for our customers, especially regarding location-based data," says Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr. "Privacy and trust are vitally important."

  The Journal found that these rules can be skirted. One iPhone app, Pumpkin Maker (a pumpkin-carving game), transmits location to an ad network without asking permission. Apple declines to comment on whether the app violated its rules.

  Smartphone users are all but powerless to limit the tracking. With few exceptions, app users can't "opt out" of phone tracking, as is possible, in limited form, on regular computers. On computers it is also possible to block or delete "cookies," which are tiny tracking files. These techniques generally don't work on cellphone apps.

  The makers of TextPlus 4, Pandora and Grindr say the data they pass on to outside firms isn't linked to an individual's name. Personal details such as age and gender are volunteered by users, they say. The maker of Pumpkin Maker says he didn't know Apple required apps to seek user approval before transmitting location. The maker of Paper Toss didn't respond to requests for comment.

 

  没什么设备能比智能手机更了解用户的隐私了:电话号码、当前位置、用户的真实姓名(在很多情况下)──甚至手机独一无二的、永远不能改变或关掉的序列号信息。  《华尔街日报》的一项调查发现,这些手机并不懂得守口如瓶,它们广泛而定期地共用这些私人信息。对101个热门的智能手机“应用程序”(游戏和其他软体程序)所做的测试表明,有56个应用程序在用户不知情或未经其许可的情况下把手机独有的序列号信息传输出去,其中5个甚至向外界发送用户的年龄、性别和其他个人信息。

  这些事实表明,互联网信息跟踪公司正在肆无忌惮地收集人们的私人信息,目的是形成详尽的用户档案。

  其中,一个热门音乐应用程序“潘朵拉”(Pandora)会把用户的年龄、性别、位置和手机序列号发送给各个广告网络公司。“扔纸团”(Paper Toss) 游戏──即在荧屏上让玩家把纸团扔到一个垃圾桶里──会把手机序列号至少发送给5家公司。一个男同性恋交友应用程序Grindr将用户性别、位置和手机序列号发送给3家广告公司。

  行业组织“手机行销协会”的迈克尔·贝克表示,在手机的世界里,没有匿名这一说。手机永远跟随我们,永远保持连接状态。

  手机生产厂家表示,公司在把应用程序推向用户前会逐一进行审核。苹果和谷歌公司都表示,他们保护用户隐私资讯,要求应用程序在向外界发送位置等特定类型的信息前,必须征求用户的许可。

  一家手机生产商说,我们为顾客提供了很强的隐私保护措施,尤其是在有关位置的资料方面。隐私和信任极其重要。

  《华尔街日报》的调查发现,这些隐私保护措施都是可以绕过去的。

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