We all love apps. Whether they are focused to make life easier, more convenient or provide entertainment, apps are part of the modern person’s daily routine.
Typically, when downloading a new app, the user may have to agree to terms and services or push notifications. While agreeing to certain terms, such as providing your location for an app that serves as a GPS system, may seem necessary, there could be other consequences of which users are not aware.
In the day and age where we all focus on completing activities as quickly as possible, it’s easy to just click “yes,” without checking to what we are agreeing. PrivacyGrade is a site created by Carnegie Mellon that rates the vulnerability of various apps and the information those apps leak.
Here are three apps that scored a D on PrivacyGrade’s system and what you actually agree to when saying “ok” to terms and services.
- Words With Friends
- Nearly everyone with a smartphone either plays or has played Words With Friends at some point in time. The virtual Scrabble game is a fun way to connect with friends and family everywhere. When signing up for Words With Friends users may not be aware that the app developer actually has an agreement form to give away users personal information to ad libraries everywhere. Along with giving away personal contact information, the app can leak your location to advertisers.
- Draw Something
- Draw Something was created by the same developers who designed Words With Friends. For that reason, Draw Something has the same privacy issues. By agreeing to Draw Something’s permissions, users’ phone number, carrier provider and call log are all available to advertisers.
- Angry Birds
- Angry Birds was even more popular than Words With Friends. Most smartphone users have played Angry Birds at one time or another. Similar to Words With Friends and Draw Something, Angry Birds can be targeted by ad libraries to figure out users’ contact information. Along with ad libraries, Angry Birds was targeted by the NSA for user information because of known security weakness.
Apps are fun, but users should be wary when downloading unfamiliar programs. If an app asks you to agree to terms and services, remember your personal information could be leaked to advertisers and other unsavory individuals everywhere.