Wednesday 25 July 2018

When strangers on the other side of the world know everything about you

Currently, the use of smartphones is growing, mainly the use of the various and endless online applications that are associated with our precious devices. A few years ago a mobile phone only served to call and send messages. Nowadays we are all familiar with social networks and we use them constantly, be it Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp ... and we could continue. At the same time allowing us to maintain contact with people from all over the world also allow us to share photos and videos of our daily activities.

With geolocation present in smartphones, it is possible to instantly associate with our photos and videos the place where they originated. However, this voluntary exposure of the location can often bring serious consequences because it makes it possible for virtually anyone to know where we live, where we are, our routine and whether or not we are at home. And this type of information can be easily used for malicious purposes, such as assaults, which are already constant in the homes of celebrities, as happened to Shakira and Piké, among others.

In addition to this type of voluntary localization, there is also the involuntary almost always associated with the innumerable applications that we are installing daily on our smartphones. More than 200,000 applications are using location, including meteorology, browsers, camera or games (with their advertising) for example. All of them have access to our physical positioning, or rather, all the companies that develop them use our need to acquire this app, charging it with the consent of access to our location and private data (for advertising purposes based on our habits daily and in the locations we visit), because when we need to install an application we do not even think twice before allowing such approval.

As such, we must be fully aware of the things we can or can not share in social networks and in what circumstances we do it, as well as when we install any type of application on our mobile phones. Even because with simple forms of prevention it is possible to avoid misusing our privacy.

Sindia Alves
Oliver Detective Anthropologist


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