Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dodgy Windows Phone Apps - Age Calculator by Punit Belani

There is a concern among the Information Technology community with respect to the amount of data harvesting that is going on, not only by governments or private corporations masquerading as government authorities, but also by individuals, and for what purpose the information is being used.

With respect to telephone communication, previously the information contained on ones mobile phone was kept (officially) between the telecommunications provider and the customer, and other details like sms content, picture, phone book were solely contained within the mobile device.

With the advent of smart phones and the explosion of 'developers' of programs or applications (apps) for the devices, there can and most likely is another sinister element or agenda hiding behind a innocent or useful app.

In this example, a program that on the surface works to calculate the users age, where only a small component of the phone's capability is needed, e.g. web browser or data services, for advertising purposes, once one takes a closer look at what resources are needed to run the app, it can seem rather concerning why an app that apparently only calculates ones age needs to operate your phone's video and camera still capturing facility or the microphone function.

Would you really want someone to access your :

  • appointments
  • contacts
  • phone identity
  • owner identity
  • video and still capture function
  • locations services (exact location of where you are)
  • music library
  • photo library
  • microphone (listening in to your conversation) 
  • phone dialer (dial out without you knowing?)
  • information contained within your SD card

just for a program to apparently calculate your age?

Anyone can make a dodgy app, even people working for secret government organisations, masquerading as developers, but then again that would be a 'conspiracy theory' would it not?

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