OnlineColleges.com, a resource for online schools, recently launched “Your Smartphone is Spying on You,” a new infographic that looks at how mobile applications, particularly location-based apps, store and use user locations and personal information.
Students may use apps to help with studying, selling and buying books and locating tutor services. In some instances, when users share their locations, they can receive deals, coupons and information about the best study spaces, the current locations of their friends and promotions for both on and off-campus restaurants. Additionally, universities can use apps to interact with students by making them aware of resources in their vicinity and providing information on nearby university stores or campus facilities.
“Location-based apps are really great tools for students and education,” explained Heidi M. Agustin, spokesperson for OnlineColleges.com. “They can help students navigate campuses more efficiently and alert them to resources they did not know about.”
Apps may collect phone IDs, locations, contacts and phone numbers. This information is used to troubleshoot bugs, provide software updates and improve the products and services overall. Depending on phone type, some location-based apps can see websites visited or listen to background noise, all in the name of providing a better user experience. Despite lack of privacy, users don’t seem to mind, with 74 percent of smartphone owners using location-based applications.
“These types of apps are really useful, especially for college students on the go,” shared Agustin. “Still, users should be cognizant of the kind of information these apps are pulling. We thought this made a great topic for an Infographic.”
For more information about technology, education and infographics like this, please visit OnlineColleges.com and follow on Facebook and @OnlineColleges on Twitter.