Who could have possibly imagined that in-app advertising can endanger your privacy in addition to it being an irritant! If studies from the Department of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology are to be believed, then this may indeed be true.
The case-study examined 200 participants working on a custom-built app in Android smartphones that constitute 52% of the smartphone market in the US. Personalised ads based on personal and demographic profile were tested for their accuracy( All of them belonging to Google Ad Network). Secondly, it was also examined as to how much information could app developers glean about the users from these personalised ads. The study revealed that 73 % of information about 92 percent of the users were aligned with their demographic profiles. User’s gender turned out to be correct in 75% of cases, parental status in 64% of cases, and age group in 54% of cases; likewise, marital status, income bracket could also be deciphered. Highly sensitive Personal information could also be leaked, and made available to the app developers.
As we are accustomed to using our mobiles to carry out banking transactions, bill payments, online dating, etc, the leak of personal information would mean that our privacy is getting compromised on an everyday basis. Even the use of HTTPS protocol might not prove to be sufficient to safeguard our security on a mobile platform. This is a major concern for every day users, and unless immediate steps are not taken to tackle this issue, the ramifications on our personal security and privacy will be immense.