Here’s what your phone knows about you

After it emerged that FaceApp now had access to personal data of millions of people, many people seemed unbothered while others seemed genuinely concerned. Well, a lot of your personal data is out there in the hands of many app developers and phone manufacturers.

So how much of your personal information does your phone know about you?

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Your location plus location history

Both Android and IOS phones have internal tracking devices that can see your location at any given point. Hidden in the settings of your devices lie “Location Services”.

If yours is switched on, your phone has most likely built up a pretty long list of places you’ve been. I sometimes get asked to rate places I wasn’t even aware I visited. This feature uses up a lot of battery life, so some users have it turned off. However, some apps like Uber, Taxify, and Safeboda among others turn it on when you authorize them.

Everything you tell your phone assistant

According to the IOS software license agreement, Apple collects data from Siri to “understand you better and recognize what you say.” This can track anything from the way you pronounce words to the trends in Siri searches.

Your personal IDs

Android smartphone company OnePlus was found using private identification information like device passcodes from its users. They explained themselves, saying that they used the information to improve the user experience. But they shouldn’t have been invading users’ privacy, especially when it comes to such sensitive information.

Related Article: Here’s what your browser knows about you

Your Passwords

Allowing your smartphone or Google Account to remember your password is undoubtedly convenient. Especially if you have used a secure jumble of random letters and numbers.

If you have dozens of apps installed for every occasion, with account passwords saved, they are now available to anyone who gets into the phone.

Your Messages

For iPhone users, Apple keeps messages in an encrypted form “for a limited period of time” before they actually get deleted, just to “ensure that they get delivered and read properly”. However, Apple didn’t disclose how long “a limited period of time” is. Maybe it’s one day, but maybe it’s ten years.

All the information you have given Google

As soon as you sign in to your Android with your Google login, your phone is linked to all of your other Google accounts. Once you’ve logged in, your phone has access to everything Google has about your phone, including the length and type of your phone calls, your device, where you are, and more.

All the information you have given to your apps

If you go into your smartphone settings, you will be able to control the number of information apps on your phone receive. Some apps like Facebook require you to control your settings within the app. Sometimes when you change these settings, the accessibility of the app decreases. For example, if you turn location services off on Facebook, you will not be able to use the “Check-In” feature on the app.

You might be surprised that your phone knows you more than some of your friends and family members. Should you panic? Maybe or Maybe not. Part of Google’s Privacy Policy reads:

When you use our services, you’re trusting us with your information. We understand this is a big responsibility and work hard to protect your information and put you in control.

Google

So, you can trust that companies like Google are keeping their end of the bargain and protecting the information about you they have.