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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, July 4, 2013

Your apps are spying on you!

Invasive app permissions cross the privacy line

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Are you reading the terms and conditions of apps you download to your smartphone? If not, you could be in for a big surprise from some well-known behemoths of the tech world.

A recent caller brought to my attention some funny business going on with Microsoft when you download their Bing app to your phone. In downloading the app, you agree to let Microsoft:

 

  • Record audio from your phone at any time without your prior knowledge
  • Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without your knowledge
  • Add, remove, or change events
  • Read stuff that's on your phone in many different ways

What is Bill Gates thinking? Isn't he rich enough that he doesn't need the money?! But he's not alone in crossing the privacy line. Let's talk about Google.  If you have Google Search on your phone, you agree to let Google:

 

  • Read your text messages on your device or from a SIM card, regardless of content or confidentiality
  • Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without your knowledge
  • Call cell phone numbers without your intervention…which isn't actually a diabolical thing because it allows you to auto-dial a business right from the search


Facebook's app, meanwhile, can remotely start taking pictures and videos with your phone, and basically use the camera at any time without your permission.

What are the lawyers for these 3 giant companies thinking? We're told to be scared of the little guy app developers when it comes to privacy, but this is happening with the behemoths!  

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