What does your smartphone know about you? Nowadays, the phone is a “smart” device that can do much more than just “ring”. A smartphone at the same time makes our life easier and more complicated, because you have to constantly worry about security. First of all, informational. So can it be done so that your information remains only yours? Let’s figure it out.
Smartphone – a global repository of personal information
Smartphones are tied to a specific cloud system. This is often about Google. But do not forget about Android, EMUI, iPhone, etc., which get access to your information immediately when you activate and configure your phone. In addition, we leave chemical traces on the screens (and other parts) of smartphones. These tracks can tell a lot about us (up to our well-being).
Chemical “memory” of the smartphone
Researchers from PNAS (Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) conducted an experiment where they determined what our smartphones “store” on themselves. The most amazing fact: microparticles of sunscreen cosmetics and anti-mosquito bites were stored on the smartphone even two months after using these drugs!
Footprints on the smartphone help to sketch out the portrait of the owner. The phone knows that a person, for example, prefers to drink coffee or tea, uses expensive cosmetics, uses antidepressants or sleeping pills, and does not like to sunbathe in the sun. In the same way, after analyzing the traces on the smartphone, you can determine which design of the apartment a person prefers. How to do it? Select particles related to the composition of furniture (wood, metal, plastic, fabric, etc.) from chemical residues on the phone. The only thing that is still difficult to do is to isolate your DNA from the residues on the smartphone. Although, yes, a person sometimes leaves his DNA on objects.
Thus, to get this data, you need to work hard in the laboratory. But we are interested in the fact that this is possible. Probably in the near future in our rapidly developing world, marketing will be able to turn this knowledge to its advantage! Not only marketers, but also forensic experts are interested in such discoveries.
Google: “Corporation of Evil” VS “Corporation of Good”
Many users fear that the mass of personal data that we leave in cloud storages will be used “for evil”. However, we all remember how scrupulous Apple and Facebook are to protecting the personal data of their customers. The question is whether Apple and Facebook themselves will turn into powerful “Masonic lodges”, in the hands of which will be the keys to global control over society?
As the famous philosopher Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power”. Today we could reformulate this statement in the following way: information is power. Information is becoming the most important resource on the planet. And our smartphones are a tidbit for global corporations, because they are literally a storehouse of information. Have you noticed that it’s worth typing some kind of request on Google, and then thematic ads will constantly come to you? Sometimes you get the right advertisement on its own: for example, men will never receive an offer to buy a dress from an online store. But this is provided that you, when filling out your Google-account, indicated the gender there!
Of course, you should not act too radically in a panic and remove the maximum information from your smartphone. Nowadays it is difficult to do without notes on the calendar, an electronic organizer built into the phone, a list of phone contacts, etc. Marshall McLuhan, a media researcher, once said that media (and a smartphone, of course, falls into this category) “ expand “us. That is, the media is becoming such a “crutch” (in a good way). And the living conditions are now such that without this “crutch” we can hardly do anything. So you should not fight with windmills: our information has not belonged exclusively to us for a long time. But we can still decide on how to dispose of our data, and who to give access to.
Smartphone and information security issues
Among other things, a smartphone is a kind of copy of us that knows our habits, tastes, remembers our choice, stores our letters, photos, videos. The smartphone literally has become our mailbox, photo album and even a means to arrange personal life. This in itself is not bad. We begin to feel the negative consequences when our information is used to our detriment. To avoid this, you should take security measures: use two-factor identification (such a function is, for example, on Facebook), come up with a strong password, bind your smartphone to your phone and email. In addition, do not forget about the official security updates that your smartphone offers, as well as the functions of locking the phone screen and individual applications (such a function also exists: in the form of a password, PIN, pattern, or fingerprint identification). Remember: we ourselves allow the smartphone to collect this or our data.
Action log: what Android stores
Android, like Google, stores a lot of information – not only about us, but also about our actions. For example, you can look at the action log and find out what applications you used, what you did there, which pages you visited on Google Chrome, etc. It’s scary and embarrassing! How to find out? Go to the My Activity page (it can be found on Google). Here you will see what your device did without your knowledge (and it happens!).
PS Of course, all this data is easy to delete, as well as set the privacy settings you need. Data collection can be adjusted including through your smartphone. This is done in the “Settings” (“Google Settings”), in the column “Personal information and privacy”.
Results: what data the smartphone saves about us
Well, we figured out a little bit about the informational nuances of our favorite devices. Let’s summarize what our smartphone knows about us:
- personal identifiers, logins, passwords, location data (geolocation);
- personal data (name, surname, contact numbers, e-mail, bank cards, etc.);
- chemical prints;
- data on the sites and applications used;
- audio recordings of everything said “Siri” or “Google” (“Ok Google”);
- all sent messages;
- Information that you have allowed to receive or given to Google;
- data about your travels and their speed;
- The information that your applications have received.
PS Even if your automatic location is disabled, some applications (Uber, Yandex Taxi, Google Maps, etc.) include geolocation during authorization.
The era of total computarization makes information more expensive than gold and platinum. Sometimes we give away our precious data for free. And sometimes – we charge for it (for example, make money on Instagram) Therefore, it is so important to know how deeply your smartphone penetrated your life and how much it has already learned about you. The one who owns the information, owns the world!
Featured image on unsplash.com