You install many apps in your android devices and iPhones. You hear lot of times where many app developers suffer aligations on their data collection and data usage, collected from your device. It is obvious that you are concerned about the privacy.
Lets get started,
1. App permissions: You must see which are the permissions required for the app to function properly and which permissions are really not required for the app functionality. You can deny unnecessary permissions but still use the app for its intended functionality.
2. PII: PII means Personally Identifiable Information. What does it mean? It means any information collected from your device, by which app developer can identify specific person in real world and associate all of the data related to it.
For example, if any app gets your email address (or mobile number or full name or credit/debit card) and then associate your information collected through the app against your record then that app collects PII. Let’s say, you use banking app. In that case banking app relates the information against you and you can be traced as legal entity for any activity within the app. Oppositely, some apps do collect some information however they allocate some unique id to track that info instead of PII. Hence in real world, they won’t be able to trace you.
So you must always check whether app collects PII or not. If they collect then how much is the duration they retain your information and whether they share your information with the third party.
3. Right to delete: In case app collects any PII or Non-PII information, then app have to specify amount of time they retain your information and also provide the mechanism for you to delete the information they own.
Yes, you have right to delete information owned by apps, platforms and service providers. Usually app do provide links to delete information collected from you. Sometimes they give you step by step guide or provide email address for deletion request.
Whenever you are not using the app, don’t just uninstall it but also make sure you delete information collected by the app.
Like PII, there is PHI. It is called protected health information. When you use any fitness app, health insurance app, health tracker etc., usually they collects PHI. To secure your health information, you also have right to delete PHI and it is more sensitive than PII. So you must check above 3 points even more seriously for health apps.
Almost all app uses analytics, if not even google play provides analytical information to app developer that includes your country, carrier, device name etc. However this information is not tagged against your name and it is anonymous information only for analytical purpose. For example, it is necessary for app developer to know which country has more traffic for his app so that he/she can provide good experience to their end users.
You should not be concerned for this data collection as it includes basic anonymous information which is no harm for end users.
Hidden Camera Detector app developer and blogger. We are in a process to build something useful and also provide tech information to the readers.