Identity Theft: There is an App For That

identEvery day thousands of people download new applications onto their smart phones without much care for  the terms of service they so easily agree to. What most of these people don’t know is they may be volunteering information and allowing for companies to gather data without their consent. Recently a company called Pinch Media was charged with being a little too invasive when it comes to gathering information through their iPhone apps.

According to one iPhone developer, applications using Pinch Media can retrieve information like your phone’s personal ID number and can work in conjunction with other applications like Facebook to determine your gender, birth year and even your exact longitude and latitude. Pinch Media has been accused of gathering information that has nothing to do with its applications. Instead, they have been using this data collection for advertisements and other marketing purposes. Worse, is that this information is often taken without the consent of the user and more often than not does not allow the user the option to stop the information gathering.
Pinch Media has fought back by arguing that they are completely within their rights to retrieve the information as long as the user gives consent when they agree to the terms of the application. Regardless of whether or not the information they gathered is being used for good or ill mannered purposes one thing is certain. Smart phone users should pay more attention to the terms of service they agree to. A simple visit to a software developer’s web site can be the difference between you using your applications and your applications using you. Take the time out to read the fine print, and if you aren’t sure about something – email the company directly with your questions or concerns.

About the author  ⁄ BrickHouse Security

BrickHouse Security is the industry's premier supplier of security and surveillance solutions. As a recognized authority in GPS tracking, hidden cameras, employee monitoring and compliance, video surveillance and counter surveillance, we help our customers use technology to get the clarity they need. We proudly serve consumers, businesses of all sizes and the law enforcement community. When you need to know, BrickHouse has the answers.

  • http://www.pinchmedia.com/ Greg Yardley

    Considering Pinch Media collects only information that’s not personally identifiable, and doesn’t collect names, phone numbers, email addresses, or anything else that can be linked back to an individual user, the title of this blog post is a little inflammatory for a security firm, no? The data collected is far less intrusive that the Google Analytics code you’ve got installed on this website, or what you’re requesting in this comment form.

    It’s important not to confuse spyware and analytics – the two are quite distinct. And it’s important not to fearmonger over identity theft when identity theft isn’t possible. Apple’s actually quite good about identifying when applications are accessing information they shouldn’t be and removing them. Pinch Media’s analytics products are as popular as they are because identity theft is *not* possible.

    Feel free to contact me should you need more information.

  • Ines Zayas

    Good to know! I wonder, at what point the limits are defined–when they know your bra size!

  • Laarias

    One more good reason to NOT buy an IPhone, though I really want one!

  • Laarias

    Isn’t this where we all technology is headed – big brotherish?

  • http://www.pinchmedia.com/ Greg Yardley

    Considering Pinch Media collects only information that's not personally identifiable, and doesn't collect names, phone numbers, email addresses, or anything else that can be linked back to an individual user, the title of this blog post is a little inflammatory for a security firm, no? The data collected is far less intrusive that the Google Analytics code you've got installed on this website, or what you're requesting in this comment form.It's important not to confuse spyware and analytics – the two are quite distinct. And it's important not to fearmonger over identity theft when identity theft isn't possible. Apple's actually quite good about identifying when applications are accessing information they shouldn't be and removing them. Pinch Media's analytics products are as popular as they are because identity theft is *not* possible.Feel free to contact me should you need more information.

  • Ines Zayas

    Good to know! I wonder, at what point the limits are defined–when they know your bra size!

  • Laarias

    One more good reason to NOT buy an IPhone, though I really want one!

  • Laarias

    Isn't this where we all technology is headed – big brotherish?

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