Your Smartphones are tracking your activities

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A study done by a research team at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University has revealed that your smartphones are tracking your activities at an average of 3 minutes. The study has revealed some shocking facts about smartphones and the applications installed on them.

Several commonly used mobile applications have been tracking user activities more frequently than needed. It is a commonly known fact that smartphone applications generally collect large volume of data frequently. Every time you have installed an application, you must have realised that the application has requested for specific information about your smartphone and the data on the phone. The collected data generally consists of the information pertaining to the location of the users. The study included tracking the activities of 23 individuals while asking them to use their smartphones in a regular manner. A specially designed software application was used for this research and it monitored the data regarding the location of the users. The collected data revealed that several commonly used Android applications tracked users 6200 over a period of 2 weeks. This means that at an average of 3 minutes, the applications collect information about the users.
Android applications which need to collect the information about the location due to their nature also collect information more frequently than needed. For example applications like weather services collected information more frequently than actually needed. A similar report from The Wall Street Journal reported the findings that applications like ‘The Weather Channel’ collected the device’s location every 10 minutes while ‘Groupon’ which offers local deals based on the location of the users tracked user’s locations of one of the participants 1062 times in a span of two weeks.
The participants of Carnegie Mellon University research changed the settings of their smartphones immediately after the research findings were reported.