Stop apps from spying on you

Last week I wrote an article about how certain applications are spying on you and tracking some of your personal data. Although the practice is legal, it is nonetheless very controversial.

Thanks to the collaboration of Saurik, BigBoss, and the major companies tracking your apps stats, it is now possible to opt out of being spied on via an application appropriately named PricaCy.

Pinch Media realized this fact, and took the lead in contacting me regarding getting this feature out there to all the users of jailbroken devices: they care.

With BigBoss, we then contacted all of the other providers, getting not only their blessing, but also their technical expertise in disabling their systems.

The result is PrivaCy: a new Settings panel that allows you to selectively opt-out of sending anonymous usage statistics to each of these providers.

This extension was a team effort, and was able to be executed as quickly as it was thanks to the help and interest of the companies involved.

I am positively surprised to see how the major tracking providers were proactive and willing to address the matter by collaborating with Saurik and BigBoss.

If you’re slightly concerned about your privacy, I suggest you download PrivaCy, which is available for free from Cydia. Hopefully, Apple will release a similar feature to allow the opt out from data tracking for non-jailbroken iPhones also.

1 Reply to “Stop apps from spying on you”

  1. How long this app being released..?
    As a precaution on my part I tend to wait a few weeks…sometimes a month or two before taking the plunge on a newly released app or software..just in case bad bugs still linger inside. Taken from experience.
    However reading up on some interesting tracking by Pinch Media Inc makes me want to throw away my carefulness and quickly install this app regardless of the time frame. Read on and I’ll help to explain why.
    Apparently, apps that use Pinch Media are doing much more than just reporting your interactions with the app and go as far as tracking the following information:

    1. i-Phone’s unique ID
    2. i-Phone Model
    3. OS Version
    4. If the application is cracked/pirated
    5. If your i-Phone is jail-broken
    6. Your current latitude & longitude
    7. Your gender (if Facebook enabled)
    8. Your birth month (if Facebook enabled)
    9. Your birth year (if Facebook enabled)

    Now I’ll try to explain how they manage to get this info so willing from users. First thing is that approved app’s , must first ask you for permission to use your location..and this is where the first trickery comes in. If you tap “Don’t Allow”, it will ask you again in about a minute, the next time its ad change..this is the second trick. So you either stop using this app (because it pesters you so much about the location question), or you finally submit and tap “OK”..and now this is when it finally catches you..I certainly sometimes think “oh well what harm can it do?”
    From that point on, your location and path info (your actual physical location) and everything listed above belongs to Pinch Media, Inc.

    Interesting isn’t it?

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