Privacy : Now apps are spying

A lot has been said in the news this week about the new government powers to allow security services to keep track of all the websites we visit. (1).  It now seems that apps are also leaking data about users (2).

This really begs the question to how can we preserve our privacy.  In terms of the latter it is probably down to the apps we use,  it seems both Google and Facebook are the bigger culprits but we already know they use a lot of spyware.  Firstly once way would be to change the apps you use and switch to those that are FOSS and therefore allow other users to view, scrutinise the source code of that app.  If you are running android then you can look in to F-droid (3) a free software apps repository.

If you are using desktop applications to view websites perhaps start to consider using browsers that don’t store history (or do it differently)  and install plugins to block ads for example.  You can also look in to software such as Tor browser (4) and Tails (5) a GNU Linux operating system designed with privacy in mind.  I don’t think you can circumvent government spying but you can certainly probably mitigate all the other spying by apps and hopefully stop some of it.

If the Facebook apps are spying on you, then surely facebook is too, this is known about,  so this one is easy DUMP it,  and get your friends to,  then sign up to  services such as Diaspora,  This network is decentralised so should be safer and you could always run your own pod(server).  and take back FULL control.  The more people that use it, the more it will attract other users BUT with no advertising.

  1. UK Surveillance powers explained (BBC)
  2. Apps spy on users (BBC)
  3.  F-Droid
  4. Tor Browser
  5. Tails

Above all people need to learn something about how their computer / device works.

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