New App Coming That Will Tell You When Your Location is Being Accessed

January 31, 2014 - Written By Ray Greer

Some of the many Android users have privacy concerns, one of the biggest concerns is location. As we all know, Android has GPS capabilities which helps us navigate the world, but some apps have access to your location, that really shouldn’t. Well there is now an app for that, and this app will tell you when another app is tracking your location.

There are apps that use your location and it makes sense, like a movie showtimes app, it comes in handy to know your location. This makes it to where the app can easily narrow down what theatre is closest, and show you movie times that are nearby. While there are other apps, that just don’t really need to know your location, like Twitter or Facebook. Honestly, is it necessary to add your location to a Tweet or a status update? Not really, and if you did feel the need to share your location with the world, just add that to the tweet or the update.

The scariest part about these apps accessing your location, isn’t the many tweets that tell us where someone is, when we really don’t care, but that US intelligence agencies have access to this information as well. Even Angry Birds is getting in on the act, and collects data from your device including location. So while you are flinging those birds at pigs, Rovio is trying to find out where you are playing their game.

There are plenty of questions we should be asking, why is the main one. Why do we download apps, that have no business knowing our location even after the disclosure said they might? Why are they collecting this data? and why do we continue to use the app? Well, for everyone the answers may be different.Some of us just don’t care, we feel we are such a small speck on the government’s radar, that it doesn’t matter where we are. Others may not have even realised these apps are accessing this information. Thanks to researchers, and a small test group at Rutgers University in New Jersey, we will be able to see exactly what app is accessing our location info and when.

The app is not currently available on the Play Store just yet, but it will be soon. The app is being called “RutgersPrivacyApp”, though they are not glued to that name, and open for suggestions.When the app was tested, people in the test group were very surprised at what they learned. They had no idea that apps were accessing location and even device id’s, and at how often this happens.

The leader of the research group, Janne Lindqvist, wants to make Android users more aware of what’s going on inside their devices, and when. Hopefully, this will make people pay more attention to what apps they download. Though, a life without Angry Birds will be difficult.So are you reading the disclosures shown before downloading an app? Does any of what you are reading in that disclosure prevent you from downloading the app?

Source: Computer World