According to a recent New York Times report, numerous smart phone applications for Apple and Andriod devices had been collecting address books and other data from users without notification. Applications like Twitter, Instagram, Yelp and Foursquare, among others, either collect data without permission or are unclear in their terms of service of the use or storage time of such information. According to mobile security company Lookout, 11 percent of free Apple iTunes applications were taking usersâ€™ address books without permission as of Feb. 2011.
Question: What do you think of this practice, and what should be done about it?
â€œI have some of those apps. Thatâ€™s not okay. I guess I feel like they should notify people before doing that or have the option of whether or not you want to allow that.â€
Rachel Richmam, sophomore finance major
â€œItâ€™s at your own risk when you use it. I mean, itâ€™s not right to take data, but by using social media, people are putting it out there, so if youâ€™re going to use it, itâ€™s at your own risk to agree to the terms. The fault is more on the user than the company. We need to be more educated about what we use.â€
Drew Fear, senior communications major
â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s very fair if they donâ€™t let you know or donâ€™t ask permission. People get very defensive about personal information. People deserve to be asked permission before their personal information is given out. If they have permission to do so, thereâ€™s no reason to get upset, although asking your permission to get friendsâ€™ information is not fair either.â€
Jordan Ippolito, junior biology major
â€œIn a way itâ€™s kind of infringing on the freedom to share information. You sign a contract when you purchase a phone and agree to terms and conditions for an app. People should know what theyâ€™re getting into, but they donâ€™t read, and kind of ignore the terms and conditions. It should be addressed, but people need to look into what theyâ€™re getting into and be more aware.â€
Chase Van Alstine, senior geology major
â€œI donâ€™t think they should be allowed to do that. Apps need to ask for permission or have something warning users before they download it. I donâ€™t think people will stop downloading them, because theyâ€™re pretty popular apps, but there needs to be awareness. Thereâ€™s a cause to change it if people find it offensive or donâ€™t like what the apps are doing.â€
Ashlee Jones, sophomore psychology major
Collegian writer Kate Winkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.