Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Jul 2012 12:23 UTC
Apple "Back in May of this year, Internet security firm Bitdefender launched an app and service designed to help iOS users get a grip on what the apps installed on their mobile devices may be up to. [...] The app tells owners of iOS devices which applications may be accessing more information than they need, and identifies potentially 'misbehaving' apps, giving users an inside look at all the information app developers can gather about a user. [...] Seems legit, right? Apple doesn't think so. Or at least they have an issue with something behind the app that sparked them to pull it from the App Store this week." That seems odd. Why would they do such a thing? "Interestingly, Bitdefender did share some data that they gathered based on Clueful's analysis of more than 65,000 popular iOS apps so far: 42.5 percent of apps do not encrypt users' personal data, even when accessed via public Wi-Fi; 41.4 percent of apps were shown to track a user's location unbeknownst to them; almost one in five of the apps analyzed can access a user's entire Address Book, with some even sending user information to the cloud without notification." Oh, right. Informing users their data is wholly unsafe? Not on Apple's watch!
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Jailbreak
by XenonXZ on Fri 20th Jul 2012 12:43 UTC
XenonXZ
Member since:
2011-05-25

All the more reason to jailbreak ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Jailbreak
by moondevil on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:48 UTC in reply to "Jailbreak"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

If you don't give Apple money, you don't need to care about jailbreak.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Jailbreak
by bassbeast on Sat 21st Jul 2012 04:54 UTC in reply to "Jailbreak"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Uhhh...why would you buy a device you then have to hack (and thus void the warranty IIRC) just so you can have a little logo?

Lets face it folks, that is what it comes down to. For all the talk of retina putting HD on such a little screen is kinda pointless, and there are phones with more power, better GPU, etc, so when it all comes down to brass tacks its the fashion statement that the device makes.

if you care about fashion? No problem, i see no harm in fashion statements and its a free country, but to act like hacking the phone makes the insane level of control apple uses "okay" is simply nuts.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Jailbreak
by weckart on Sat 21st Jul 2012 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Jailbreak"
weckart Member since:
2006-01-11

Jailbreak / root - what's the difference, really?

Whatever you buy, you still have to tinker with security in order to install exactly what you want.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Jailbreak
by zima on Wed 25th Jul 2012 20:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Jailbreak"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Rooting is not about installing apps. And is often relatively encouraged and supported, by some makers (like SE documenting ways to unlock their devices, or Samsung providing handsets to CM)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by satan666
by satan666 on Fri 20th Jul 2012 12:58 UTC
satan666
Member since:
2008-04-18

Users either don't know what they want or they want the wrong thing. So Apple decided that privacy is bad for its users. Why should Apple give its users a choice? Choice is only confusing people.

Reply Score: 13

simple solution
by Janvl on Fri 20th Jul 2012 13:24 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

The simplest solution, do not buy apple. Keep your privacy.

Reply Score: 22

RE: simple solution
by RawMustard on Fri 20th Jul 2012 13:40 UTC in reply to "simple solution"
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

Your answer seemed the most logical, practical and simplest action to take yet you were voted down to 0, how does that work? Apple fanboyz are really on the nose, just like their god.

Reply Score: 9

v RE: simple solution
by Tony Swash on Fri 20th Jul 2012 13:45 UTC in reply to "simple solution"
RE[2]: simple solution
by fretinator on Fri 20th Jul 2012 13:56 UTC in reply to "RE: simple solution"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference is that Google does not block applications that report on the usage/misusage of other apps. I have 2 installed - Lookout Security and Carat. Lookout reports on security problems with apps. Carat reports apps that are hammering my battery. Spin it any way you want, but ON THIS TOPIC, Android is more open.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: simple solution
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 20th Jul 2012 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE: simple solution"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

LOL - with what Android and Google!!


Google gives full insight into what it collects and what it knows about you, and what is associated with your account. You can export and remove information. You have pretty full control over what they have on you - not perfect, but still very good.

Now, these past several months, I've been asking people like you a very simple question, which, for some reason, never gets answered. Let's try again, shall we?

Where can I see the information Apple has on me?

Reply Score: 15

RE[3]: simple solution
by MOS6510 on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: simple solution"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Why don't you just ask Apple instead of Tony? By Dutch law they must let you know what they know so you know too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: simple solution
by maccouch on Fri 20th Jul 2012 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: simple solution"
maccouch Member since:
2012-03-14

what info? you keep going on this but what info exactly do you want?

what you bought on the itunes store is right there on your account.

your personal and contact info is in appleid.apple.com

on icloud i assume there is everything you set up to sync through icloud. The time that they are stored on the servers was explained when they presented iCloud itself. (I assume cache in distributed server doesn't count)

what other data has Apple collected on you? i still haven't figure out what exactly are you asking.

you can also try this site: http://www.apple.com/privacy/ and follow the procedures to ask for further data. It should provide a good piece of actual reporting for OSnews.

You keep berating Apple for this "privacy issues" while enthusiastically recomending Google products that actually are known to capture, analyse and store your data. I really don't get this. Apple has a lot of stupid policies and defects to go around, but until now there is no known episode nor policy of massive data mining by them. So what exactly is your issue here?

Edited 2012-07-20 16:56 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: simple solution
by WorknMan on Fri 20th Jul 2012 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: simple solution"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Google gives full insight into what it collects and what it knows about you, and what is associated with your account.


LMAO, yeah... sure they do. It is probably safe to assume that they're lying to you, as the profit motive is likely to outweigh their desire to be honest. This is the same for MS, Apple, Facebook, and pretty much every other for-profit, publicly traded corporation.

Look, I am an Android user, and am fully in bed with Google, because in this day and age, unless you want to be relegated to the stone age, you pretty much have to get in bed with one of these companies, and I like Google's services the best. Doesn't mean I trust them though ;)

My point? If you (and not you specifically) trust Google anymore than you would the neighborhood pedophile with your children, then you are a f**king moron.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: simple solution
by Tony Swash on Sat 21st Jul 2012 09:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: simple solution"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Let's think about this structurally shall we, let's think about business model's, user data, product revenue, and privacy.

On the one hand is a company, Apple, that makes almost all it's money selling actual things to consumers, almost wholly individual rather than corporate consumers. Apple's customers are the people who buy it's things.

On the other hand is a company, Google, that makes almost all it's money selling advertising, advertising whose value is determined by Google's ability to collect data about what people do on their computers, devices and on the internet. Google's customers are those who buy advertising and it's product is data about the behaviour of those who use it's services and a range of free software offerings.

Which business model is more likely to raise issues of user privacy?

Which company, Apple or Google, has just been fined for deliberately and secretly circumventing user privacy settings?

Google's entire business model is based on collecting user information. More worryingly, and deliberately obscured in it's recent financial reports, is the fact that Google's core business is actually deteriorating and has been deteriorating for some time. Which is primarily the reason that Google's has drastically enlarged it's attempts to monetize far more of it's user interaction.

The most important number in Google's quarter? Revenue-per-click was down a whopping 16% year on year. The previous quarter it was down 12% year on year. The one before that down 8% . The dollar paid per click is essentially the price of an ad.

And yet Google's advertising revenue was up. How did they do that? Total ad clicks jumped 42%, because the search results are more and more ads and less and less genuine results. See this graphic comparing a 2008 Google search result vs a 2012 Google search result.

http://www.brianshall.com/sites/default/files/google-search-results...

But obviously they can't continue to increase the advertising density indefinitely, which means this is a one-time boost that masks the underlying deterioration of dollar-per-click. Once that's baked into the year on year the problem will be exposed.

By increasing the ad density they are selling the future in exchange for the temporary illusion of prosperity.

So a company whose core business is collecting user data to sell advertising is under strong commercial pressure to sustain a deteriorating revenue base.

Does that bode well for privacy?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: simple solution
by No it isnt on Sat 21st Jul 2012 12:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: simple solution"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Right. When facts are against you, think "structurally" instead, with evidence collected in a dystopian future you made up from the arguments you made up. Structurally, you're arguing in circles.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: simple solution
by Tony Swash on Sat 21st Jul 2012 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: simple solution"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Right. When facts are against you, think "structurally" instead, with evidence collected in a dystopian future you made up from the arguments you made up. Structurally, you're arguing in circles.


What facts are against me? I literally don't understand what you are arguing. I would have thought my point was clear: in general one should be more concerned about privacy issues with companies whose core business model depends on collecting data about users behaviour than those whose core business does not. Seems pretty straightforward and clear to me. Just common sense.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: simple solution
by andydread on Sat 21st Jul 2012 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: simple solution"
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

Fact Apple runs an ad system called iAD
Fact Apple collects user data for iAD
Apple does not let you know any of the data that is collected. At least Google lets you know some of it. The point is no one has any idea what data Apple collects and at least with Google you have some idea.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: simple solution
by Tony Swash on Sat 21st Jul 2012 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: simple solution"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

At least Google lets you know some of it. The point is no one has any idea what data Apple collects and at least with Google you have some idea.


What proportion of information collected by Google is known?

Does the fact that Google collects far more data on users than Apple, because it's business is collecting such data, mean that the data that Google collects that you don't know about is more than the data that Apple collects that you don't don't know about. Do you see how silly this can get very quickly.

Personally I think Google gets way more data from me than Apple and I am a heavy user of iOS and Apple products. Apple knows something about my musical tastes and what apps I have bought. I am not sure it knows a whole lot more. Google knows a lot about my search and browsing history, it scans the content of my emails and if I used Google + (which it has automatically signed me up to by the way) it would know about my social network, it knows what videos I watch on Youtube, etc etc. Google is the mother of all user data collectors. If anyone collects more data on me than Google I would be deeply shocked.

I am not very worried, yet, by Google's data collection although I find the way it personalises search results a bit spooky. But when I see people frothing up about something Apple has or has not done in relation to privacy I sense a profound case of double standards. If you want to bash Apple feel free to use privacy, if you really care about privacy watch what Google does very carefully.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: simple solution
by No it isnt on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 11:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: simple solution"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

On the one hand, Google actually lets you see what data they have collected on you, on the other hand, what you call "thinking structurally", you've got a bunch of insinuations based on your speculations as to how Google's ad service makes them money. That's what I mean when I say you've got facts against you. You prefer insinuations and dystopian fiction to facts, as they better suit your fanboi needs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: simple solution
by ilovebeer on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 17:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: simple solution"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

On the one hand, Google actually lets you see what data they have collected on you

If you believe that, you're very very naive. You don't know what's behind the curtain but what's worse than that is not even knowing there's a curtain.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: simple solution
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 21st Jul 2012 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: simple solution"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Right. I guess that's why Apple is pimping how it owns 400 million credit card numbers. That's all because it's not pimping out its users. Yessirree.

Stop lying to yourself.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/apples-stash-of-credit-car...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: simple solution
by Tony Swash on Sat 21st Jul 2012 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: simple solution"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Right. I guess that's why Apple is pimping how it owns 400 million credit card numbers. That's all because it's not pimping out its users. Yessirree.

Stop lying to yourself.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/apples-stash-of-credit-car...


Street slang is embarrassing. Apple talks about how many accounts it has on iTunes in order to demonstrate the size and weight of it's ecosystem. It's not passing on those credit card details to third parties. Your reference to this is irrelevant and flimsy. I repeat - working yourself up in too a state of righteous indignation over privacy in iOS because Apple pulls a single app shows a lack of any sense of proportion. If one wants to get concerned about privacy start with companies whose core business model is based on collecting user data. Is that idea some how controversial?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: simple solution
by phoudoin on Sat 21st Jul 2012 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: simple solution"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

Where can I see the information Apple has on me?

Apple already answered: buy our next device and you will get what you've asked for.
Oh, and this *will* be a revolution.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: simple solution
by Chrispynutt on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE: simple solution"
Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

Is that your only choice if you don't buy Apple?

This isn't a football game when one has to win when another fails.

Nokia, Samsung and the rest do a nice line in feature phones with Twitter, Facebook, etc all built in, but in little silos where none of them can read each others data.

There is Blackberry as well.

Not everything is silly fanboy Us Vs Them argument. Both Apple and Google can be the wrong choice for privacy at the same time.

If you value privacy more than the ability to have smartphone, not buying a smartphone is a pretty good option.

Also if you want privacy and a smartphone at least affect the market forces by choosing the least worst option, what ever that is at the time.

Edited 2012-07-20 14:03 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: simple solution
by Drumhellar on Fri 20th Jul 2012 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: simple solution"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

WTF? A well reasoned argument contained, offering reasonable alternatives, without disparaging the people who don't choose one of those reasonable alternatives, in a cool, even-tempered comment?



NOT ON MY INTERNET YOU DON'T!!!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: simple solution
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE: simple solution"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'm pretty sure he didn't suggest Android and Google.

Reply Score: 4

RE: simple solution
by moondevil on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:50 UTC in reply to "simple solution"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Exactly! +1 (since I already commented)

Reply Score: 2

RE: simple solution
by ronaldst on Fri 20th Jul 2012 17:22 UTC in reply to "simple solution"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

The simplest solution, do not use cellphones. Keep your privacy.

-rms

Reply Score: 3

RE: simple solution
by phoudoin on Sat 21st Jul 2012 14:22 UTC in reply to "simple solution"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

The simplest solution, do not buy apple. Keep your privacy.

*And* your money.
*And* your soul, possibly ;-)

Reply Score: 4

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:04 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Considering iOS apps run sandboxed, how could this app "know" how other apps behave? If it can see apps sending passwords in clear text it was at least sniffing the network communications.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

A quick search would have told you exactly how it works:

Clueful looks at what apps are on your iPhone and then fetches privacy details about them from the cloud (which is why it needs to have an Internet connection). Apps are analyzed at the Bitdefender Labs, not on your device

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I know, I was just giving you an assist to make you appear clever. :-p

Reply Score: 0

Glossy glass
by Gestahlt on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:11 UTC
Gestahlt
Member since:
2011-10-17

Do we even care to be tracked?
Even with a dumbphone you can be tracked as long as you have a phone number / sim registered to you. Not as accuratly and informative as a smarter-than-you phone does, but they will find you if they want.

Then we come to the question who are "they"?

That is simple. "They" is anything that tracks you.

Do i care? Well, i do feel uneasy knowing the fact that it is easily possible. Who knows what i am up to.
Do you guys care?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Glossy glass
by Lion on Fri 20th Jul 2012 21:50 UTC in reply to "Glossy glass"
Lion Member since:
2007-03-22

it's desirable to know who has that information. in the dumbphone example you gave, that was only available to people with access to the cellular network, ie: emergency services and the telco itself.
These days many people are publishing that info via foursquare, facebook checkins, latitude, etc. Which shares that info with the provider of that service and an audience as controlled by you.
If not illegal, it's at least immoral for an app to gather that information from you without your knowledge.

I don't know if iOS allows app developers to request less granular location data, but at least on android, apps have the ability ask for fuzzy data such as what city you are in, rather than a precise location. I am more comfortable with that as a user.

Reply Score: 2

Best way to avoid privacy issue ...
by dvhh on Fri 20th Jul 2012 14:18 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

... Is to avoid talking about them ?

Reply Score: 7

v Pulled as hoax?
by bram on Fri 20th Jul 2012 16:02 UTC
RE: Pulled as hoax?
by Soulbender on Fri 20th Jul 2012 18:24 UTC in reply to "Pulled as hoax?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Maybe you should have done some basic research on the product and how it works before dismissing it as a hoax?

fyi, the apps are are analyzed at Bitdefender Labs, not on the phone. The phone knows what apps are on the phone and uses the information from bitdefender to show you what app does what.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Pulled as hoax?
by bram on Sun 22nd Jul 2012 20:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Pulled as hoax?"
bram Member since:
2009-04-03

Ok, sure, a remote database makes sense, but:
How does the app know what other apps are installed?

Reply Score: 1

fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple clearly states in the App Developer Terms of Service (ADTOS), "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Reply Score: 3

Typically Apple
by mantrik00 on Fri 20th Jul 2012 17:29 UTC
mantrik00
Member since:
2011-07-06

This kind of arbitrary behaviour enabled by highly restrictive and manipulative policy terms should be a subject of anti-trust investigation because Apple is basically choosing winners and loosers. Such arbitrary behaviour harms the operations of a free market.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Typically Apple
by MOS6510 on Fri 20th Jul 2012 18:02 UTC in reply to "Typically Apple"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Perhaps, but you don't know the reason why Apple did it, nor does Thom or anyone else here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Typically Apple
by Lion on Fri 20th Jul 2012 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Typically Apple"
Lion Member since:
2007-03-22

To throw my own hat into the ring of wild speculation...
Apple has in the past withdrawn apps from the store seemingly arbitrarily and then added their same functionality into the OS shortly thereafter.
Perhaps we are soon to see this same auditing function as a native part of iOS?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Typically Apple
by Neolander on Sat 21st Jul 2012 06:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Typically Apple"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

That would be Apple admitting that people need to care a little bit about security considerations to be actually protected from threats, and that the whole App Store thing is really not even close to the ultimate solution to all computer security problems they repeatedly claimed it to be.

Then there might be growing suspicion that Apple are just using the illusion of security as a disguise to let uncanny horrors pass through, Patriot Act-style.

Not going to happen unless they are forced to, in my opinion.

Edited 2012-07-21 06:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Typically Apple
by zima on Wed 25th Jul 2012 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Typically Apple"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Not going to happen unless they are forced to, in my opinion.

I wonder... perhaps we might see that as part of some larger (eventual) EU investigation into app stores? Let's hope so?

And, given right political circumstances in the EU parliament (inevitable, sooner or later), there should be another look into Patriot Act-style stuff (like with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON - includes a link to decade-old EU report; OTOH, I don't think it amounted to much, since that investigation, hm)

Reply Score: 2

simple solution
by Janvl on Fri 20th Jul 2012 20:44 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

Just for the record. I have a (cell)phone for making telephonecalls.
I do not have a smartphone, nor a tablet.

I build my own PC and run Linux, even on the desktop.
I do not have a facebook-account I use diaspora, like Linus Thorvald.
I like Stallman.

I do not dislike MS, it is pretty usefull with win7.
For me VMS, now OpenVMS was/is the best OS ever, the next thing is Unix/Linux. IBM's OS400 is a very nice proprietary OS and very functional too.

But Apple has mutated into a patent-troll, killing innovation and with disrespect for its customers, I do not like them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: simple solution
by zima on Wed 25th Jul 2012 20:39 UTC in reply to "simple solution"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Torvalds uses Google+ IIRC ...for sure he commented on some G+ postings, I believe when voicing his displeasure about Gnome3 & how he moves to Xfce (plus, on another Google service: http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/ )

BTW, Windows NT is sort of post-VMS.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 20th Jul 2012 22:10 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Regardless of hardware maker, OS, and cellular carrier you use -- if you think your data is "safe" then you are a fool. Same goes for those who believe they are or can get full disclosure.

Believing one insecure device is better than another doesn't leave your data any more "protected", it just means you're naive enough to fall for the fake security blanket you created in your head.

Reply Score: 4

False sense of security
by mantrik00 on Sat 21st Jul 2012 07:43 UTC
mantrik00
Member since:
2011-07-06

So, if there is a 'malware' in the Appstore you wouldn't know it and be fooled into believing that the iPhone and the Appstore is more secure than others. Apple, by its tight control over the ecosystem, isn't necessarily ensuring security, but is certainly ensuring a monopolistic restriction and a false sense of security which is so often touted by it fans certain sections of the media.

Reply Score: 5

Google vs Apple and data
by henderson101 on Sat 21st Jul 2012 19:46 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

Hello "rock", let me introduce you to "hard place". Hello "kettle", do you see the "black pot" over there? Nuff said.

Reply Score: 5