Why data privacy is important while using mobile apps

The Internet runs because of user’s inputs and data. And whatever you do on the app and website it generates or creates data automatically. This is about how you use the app and website. This type of user interface and experience data does not need much privacy or security.

This type of app-created data is only most important for the company, mobile app, and a website to manage, optimized, and secure. For example, how many times you have used the app in a day is not important for you to even see, but it’s important for the mobile app company.

For example, the website owner knows how many people visited a certain page on the website, what users are reading, wherefrom they are reading, what are their age, etc. But website owners do not get the details of users’ IP addresses or personal details. That’s ok for testing and monitor the user interface and experience.

But security and privacy are more important for the 2nd type of data that is personal and financial information. And it can be your personal, professional, business, financial data and information, messages, family photographs, phone numbers, videos, and bank details that you use, send and input into the app.

This type of private or personal data and information is mandatory to secure and safe. It’s because it’s created, uploaded, and shared by the user with another person or company or bank through the app. And if it is used, distributed, and shared by the app company then it’s an infringement of fundamental rights. And many countries’ governments take action on those companies, who sell or leak this type of data intentionally.

Technically, any company can do it without informing and getting permission from the users. There are various Data tracking applications and programs that are used inside the app and websites. And they can be created or used to track every detail as per the app or functionality.

And it can track everything, store, and manage everything in the database. That database can be used by thousands of other apps through APIs with custom controls or features such as you can build another chat app by using the Chat API of another company.

But mostly they notify the user and display the terms and conditions page for agreeing or disagree. But if you disagree you can’t use the app or web application or social media websites. And those terms and conditions are written in fully technical + legal language and there will be 10 to 15 or even more pages that you have to read.

But most of the common men and even technical professionals don’t read them and even those who have to read and understand required a legal professional along with an IT professional.

And no one has time and resources to do that, just to install and use an app.

And most of the public follow this practice. And I think it can be dangerous for society and the nation.

So there are 2 most important things. Society needs more education on this topic before they start debating on it. Even I can’t say that I know everything, but I can say what I have learned and observed. And this article is only for educational purposes.

Normally any big, reputed, and public company doesn’t go against the laws of the nation. And no one can become bigger with dishonesty.

But anyone’s mind can be manipulated, impacted and his own values can be purchased by third parties. And anyone who wants power, publicity, money, and wants to win the corporate competition can do it behind the background. 

Data leakages, privacy, and security problems or debates happen in those countries more often, where political parties or administration leaders are not literate or educated technically or knows much about the technologies and their positive or negative impacts on the citizens.

I know they can hire IT consultants and cybersecurity experts. But most of them will do not go against the leaders. I believe personally that it’s important for a leader to analyze the impact personally and then if it’s negative then do something about it.

I also believe that when we know we have to live with technology then why not build an independent body and system in which technically, analytically, logically, creatively skilled people will work to monitor and solve these issues.

This type of group can work independently and but can be operated or monitored by the judiciary not by the government. It’s because it’s related to the fundamental rights of the citizens.

If a company or app uses the user’s data with permission, then they can do any kind of negative and positive things with data as per their profit.

So, it’s important that your personal data and information is always secure and safe. And use the alternative if you have doubts about any mobile app or company.  You have to select your side. Do you agree that your personal data can be compromised even due to technical faults and do you disagree?

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What can be the most possible negative things that can happen if you agree to the terms and conditions or provide permission to use your personal data as per the goals and operations of the app?

Your data and private messages are fully encrypted and it means no one can see them and no one knows what is inside the message. But if data is not saved on the app’s own server instead of on your mobile, it means they will not have the access to your data. For example, WhatsApp user’s messages are only saved for 30 days on their server until they haven’t delivered to the next person.

After that time period, those messages are deleted automatically. And for the functionality of the app, your message has to travel for a few seconds, minutes, or a few hours or a month until it is not reaching the destination. Once it is loaded on the mobile then the server gets empty or no data remained saved.

For example, If I delete the message on mobile, then it will be deleted. It was just on my mobile phone and not on the server. I can’t even see that message later or restore, because it was deleted. But yes, we can save all those data in cloud storage or as a backup. And when the backup is stored, it will be stored on the server.

Now, what can happen in this condition or system or what kind of information or data is collected by the app that you also don’t know. This is depending on the data privacy policy of the company. This is the point where terms and conditions and data privacy policy play a role.

Note: I haven’t seen any app data analytics behind the app yet, but I have experienced the website user’s data analytics, especially Google Analytics, so with that experience, I am sure or think that the following data can be collected by any app or as per the app policy or programs (data analytics software features):

I am not guaranteeing anything, I am just guessing based on the website data analytics experiences and overall, it can be true or false.

But personally, I know this is possible:

So, in normal case what can be possible or can be done by the app as per the term and condition or data privacy:

App mobile company collect the data of app uses. This the 1st type of data that I have explained above. Now the app can collect the following things about you and your uses:

  • The data about the timing of receiving and sending messages can be recorded. Along with that device location, device brand, internet connection provider, device screen size, and many other things (as per the app functionality)

 

  • Who is sending the message (mobile number of the sender) and who is receiving the message? (mobile number of the receiver can be recorded)

 

  • What is file size means video size, image size, uploading source. This data can also be collected.

 

  • How many times a message from one source traveled and how many times and on which numbers, this data can also be tracked or collected.

 

  • When a certain mobile number becomes active or starts using or closing the app, then this data can also be collected.

 

  • IP Address of the user device (mobile/table/desktop)

 

  • When this user started using the app and how older or active that user is on the app. (user history)

 

  • Now in a certain situation, the message can be filtered or tracked as per the words that are used by the users. And this type of sensitive or sexual or harassing words and user number behind this message can be saved in a different database and server with RED or Green Marks.

And even this kind of message can be monitored by the app security and privacy team as per the danger and suspicious words.

  • Might be if it’s repeated then or the system highlight it RED (danger) then this message and users will be filtered or stored separately for further investigations. Might be this type of data can help in investigations and if something wrong happens with the receiver or sender after that chat or data transfer. This type of message is also important to track as per the words for national safety and security purposes.

 

Now the above collection of type A and Type B data can help the app company to optimize the mobile app, improve user experience, user interface, and launch new features. And it’s also good for the users.

The 2nd benefits of this are that it can help national security and law & order agencies.

The data can be filtered or tracked in certain situations. If there is auto backup then it can also be restored about the history of transactions, communication, and files.

And this can help and protect the citizen’s rights, individual fundamental rights. And can become an important part of the decision of justice.

So I think and believe that data privacy is a very important and serious subject. Leakage of the private message by any way or method or through an app or by the app is the infringement of fundamental rights. Sometimes it can happen unintentionally or due to technical faults. But that also a matter of investigation.

But as an App Developer or app owner, it’s also important for them to track or block the users to protect the app or website from unethical activities in certain situations by the app users.

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What can be the most possible difficulties you will face without using that app or disagreeing on their terms and conditions:

  • If you stop using the app due to disagreement, then it will not impact the app or company. Until the majority of users don’t do or understand it.
  • I don’t think there is any app or web application that doesn’t monitor the users or track the uses data. It’s important to monitor the app or website. But it’s not good to read and copy users’ data.
  • So you just have to trust the app and company. And it’s also important for the government to regularly monitor the technologies and tools that are commonly used by people. So at least both the company and user feel safe.
  • For this, there are various types of trust certificates, reliability experiences are shared by the companies. Trust is a very important factor in the success of any online or offline business. But you also have to remember that trust can be broken due to greed of power and money by anyone.
  • So not only you have to trust the right app for your business or personal uses but you also have to get educated about the digital worlds and methods that protect your data and personal information.
  • For example, if credit cards, debit cards, bank details information get leaked then you know what kind of problems can happen.
  • Data of the users can be purchased by political or non-political organizations. That can impact the election results and manipulate the democratic system.
  • Even when mobile numbers data get leaked or sell or shared publicly, you will get thousands of fraudulent calls, messages, and fake data.
  • And also it’s not important that only the app can store your data or steal the data or sell your data, even if you use unknown third party messages, links and do strange activities, then it’s also possible that your mobile, computer, apps logins and passwords details and even bank details can be hacked. There are lots of such cases and frauds happening each day around the world.
  • There are many things to explain what can be possible if data is not secure and privacy is not protected. It’s even beyond the imaginations.

Each nation wants to become powerful economically and technologically. And for that, each country or prime leaders have their own goals and mindset. Each government is different because each leader is different.

But I believe that only those countries are powerful or will become more powerful in which natural environment development, educational development, economic development, skills or interest or talent-based employment and education are the main goals.

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So if any country wants to become developed, then it’s important for that countries citizens to get awareness about technologies, education, employment, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

It’s not only good for the industries and government but also for the people. If people are technology illiterate, then they can’t be manipulated or influenced by anyone.

 So, the ending is very simple to follow:

Just become educated about technologies, computers, apps. Follow the best secure activities on the internet. Don’t click or follow strangers. Don’t talk or connect with strangers on your personal activities. Don’t install too many apps and payment methods on mobile phones. Just be clear about your needs and condition what looks good or what looks suspicious.

Don’t trust anything easily on the internet or while using the internet.

So, in the conclusion, I think it’s important to become educated about technologies, learn basic computer skills, follow the best internet safety practices, and share them with others as well. This is the only thing that we can do as Technology, apps, and website user.

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