Watch out: Your private health app data may impact your credit report

Image result for Watch out: Your private health app data may impact your credit reportIt’s a sad fact of our late capitalist world that data is one of the hottest currencies. Every move you make online–and sometimes off, too!–is likely being tracked in some way and then sold to the highest bidder. New research shows that even health apps, which often store users’ most personal information, are also sharing the data they collect. To make matters worse, for many of these programs, it’s simply impossible to opt out.

The study was performed by a team of researchers in Australia, Canada, and the U.S., reports Gizmodo. They decided to download 24 of the most popular health-related apps on Android. For each app, the team made four fake profiles and each used the programs 14 times. On the 15th time, they slightly changed the information they provided to the apps and tracked if the network traffic changed. This way, the researchers were able to see if the apps shared the data change, as well as where they shared it.

The findings were depressing. Writes Gizmodo:

Overall, they found 79 percent of apps, including [popular apps Medscape, Ada, and Drugs.com], shared at least some user data outside of the app itself. While some of the unique entities that had access to the data used it to improve the app’s functions, like maintaining the cloud where data could be uploaded by users or handling error reports, others were likely using it to create tailored advertisements for other companies. When looking at these third parties, the researchers also found that many marketed their ability to bundle together user data and share it with fourth-party companies even further removed from the health industry, such as credit reporting agencies. And while this data is said to be made completely anonymous and de-identified, the authors found that certain companies were given enough data to easily piece together the identity of users if they wanted to.

Essentially, most of the apps were sharing the data users’ input in some capacity, and often that information was shared once again with another entity. Sometimes the data would be used for advertising, other times for something related to credit reporting. (According to the study, only one credit reporting agency had an agreement with a third party: Equifax. Of course, it’s not terribly comforting that the company had one of the largest hacks in recent memory.)


 

The sad part is that these findings aren’t terribly surprising, nor are they illegal. Most apps broker user data in some capacity. Usually they use it for marketing and advertising, yet, as the credit report agency example shows, the data could be shared with truly anyone for myriad purposes. While third parties claim to anonymize the data, it’s been repeatedly proven that it can easily be re-identified.

As for disclosure, the companies behind these apps likely tell users in legalese that they share data with third parties. Every app has a privacy policy, but they are usually designed so that people glaze over the words and reflexively click “accept.” Meanwhile, this study found that all of the apps that shared data made it impossible to opt out.

The two real lessons from studies like these are that users of digital health programs need to be vigilant with the programs they use. It’s possible to protect your data, but it takes a lot of homework. But most of all, there needs to be a heightened call to protect consumers from these predatory practices.

Today, we dig deeper into your health privacy as part of our series The Privacy Divide, and find that what you don’t know about your health data could make you sick.

[“source=fastcompany”]

WhatsApp Starts Testing ‘Suspicious Link Detection’ Feature to Limit Spam Circulation: Report

WhatsApp Starts Testing 'Suspicious Link Detection' Feature to Limit Spam Circulation: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • WhatsApp is reportedly testing a Suspicious Link Detection feature
  • The feature helps detect suspicious links
  • It is currently under testing and unavailable even for beta testers

In another move to put a stop to the circulation of spam on its platform, WhatsApp is working on a Suspicious Link Detection feature. The new feature, which is presently said to be under testing, helps users detect suspicious links available within their WhatsApp messages. It is a part of the WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.18.204 and later, though not available for the masses at the initial stage. The latest development hits amidst different measures by the Facebook-owned company to limit the circulation of spam and fake news through the instant messaging app that has over 1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide. A previous WhatsApp beta version brought a ‘Forwarded’ label that was aimed to make a dent in the growth of fake news distribution through the app and help people easily identify forwarded messages.

Leveraging the Suspicious Link Detection feature, WhatsApp analyses the links available in a message to detect a suspicious link, reports WABetaInfo. The messaging app is said to automatically identify whether the link in a received message is redirecting to a fake or alternative website that could potentially harm users. Upon detection of a suspicious link, the message is marked with a Red-coloured label to let users easily understand its behaviour.

The screenshots posted by the WABetaInfo folks highlight that WhatsApp also warns users when they try to open the link with a message that reads, “This link contains unusual characters. It may be trying to appear as another site.” It has also been claimed that WhatsApp analyses the link locally. This suggests that the links will not be sent to WhatsApp servers and the user data won’t be compromised for sake of detecting suspicious links.

whatsapp suspicious link detection wabetainfo WhatsApp

Photo Credit: WABetaInfo

 

We weren’t able to spot the reported Suspicious Link Detection feature on any of our Android devices using the latest WhatsApp beta version 2.18.207. However, since the WABetaInfo team claims that WhatsApp is currently testing the feature, we can expect its arrival at least for WhatsApp beta users sometime in the coming future. It is also reported that with some other improvements, the feature will also get an ability to let users manually report a suspicious link.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp came in the headlines for the massive spread of misinformation that allegedly led to the lynching of a large number of innocents in India. The IT ministry even asked WhatsApp to take preventative actions to restrict the proliferation of fake messages on its platform. The messaging service on its part revealed that it had started taking help from local experts to fight spam and fake news and announced ‘research awards’ for researchers interested in limiting the circulation of misinformative messages in the country. This was a step in addition to the primary moves such as the ‘Forwarded’ label and ‘Send Messages’ group controls to retain WhatsApp’s domination in the market of instant messaging apps. Particularly in India, WhatsApp serves over 200 million monthly active users.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Nokia 9 May Sport New Dual Camera Setup, With Telephoto and Wide-Angle Lenses: Report

Nokia 9 May Sport New Dual Camera Setup, With Telephoto and Wide-Angle Lenses: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New version of Nokia Camera app spotted in Nokia 5 Oreo beta
  • App teardown revealed support for telephoto and wide-angle lenses
  • Nokia 9 and Nokia 6 (2018) expected to launch in January

Nokia licensee HMD Global is expected to launch the much-anticipated Nokia 9 flagship next month, with an event in China said to be the venue. The refresh of the Nokia 6, being referred to as the Nokia 6 (2018), is expected to be launched alongside. Both rumoured smartphones have been the recipients of numerous leaks, including a TENAA listing for the latter, cheaper offering that left virtually no detail to the imagination. Now, a Nokia Camera app build spotted in the Android Oreo beta for the Nokia 5 has tipped the upcoming use of a new type of dual camera setup expected to be seen on the Nokia 9 – a wide-angle lens coupled with a telephoto lens.

Spotted by Nokiamob.net, the Nokia Camera v8.0200.20 app on the Nokia 5 Android 8.0 Oreo beta build was torn down, and showed telephoto lens options up to 2x zoom, and wide-angle lens options (seen below). Alongside, more manual settings have been added: users will be able to adjust shutter speed between 1s and 1/500s, and choose from ISO 100 to 2,000. This is being thought to mean that Nokia has chosen to forego the RGB/ monochrome dual camera setup it used on the Nokia 8, and brought two RGB sensors with different fields of view and zoom capabilities on an upcoming smartphone – probably the Nokia 9.

nokia camera nokiamobnet nokia

Photo Credit: Nokiamob.net

The Nokia 9 and Nokia 6 (2018) were most recently in the news for reportedly being spotted on 3C – a Chinese certification authority. The 3C certification of the Nokia 9 and Nokia 6 (2018) didn’t reveal any details on the part of their specifications. The Nokia 9 is said to be listed with model number TA-1042, whereas the Nokia 6 (2018) has been spotted as TA-1054. There is also a speculation that the Nokia 9 will come in two other variants with model numbers TA-1005 and TA-1009.

Earlier this month, the Nokia 6 (2018) reportedly received TENAA certification in China – with a matching model number of TA-1054. Some early rumours claimed that the smartphone will have a similar design language as the Nokia 7 and will come with an 18:9 display. Also, it is expected to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC, coupled with 4GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage, and a dual camera setup on the back with the company’s iconic Bothie feature. The Nokia 9 and Nokia 6 (2018) are expected to be launched at a January 19 event in China.

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Nokia 9

Nokia 9

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.30-inch

Processor

quad-core

Front Camera

12-megapixel

Resolution

1440×2560 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

22-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3800mAh

Also See
  • Nokia 105 (2017) (Black)
    Rs.950
  • Nokia 105 (2017) (Black)
    Rs.962
  • Nokia 105 (2017) (WHITE)
    Rs.1,030

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

‘Made in India’ iPhone SE 2 to Launch in Early 2018: Report

'Made in India' iPhone SE 2 to Launch in Early 2018: Report

Apple at its earnings call earlier this month revealed that the iPhone SE had a big hand in the double digit growth in iPhone sales in India this last quarter. Now, a fresh report claims Apple is preparing to launch the iPhone SE’s successor in early 2018, corroborating a much earlier report. The new model, said to be called the iPhone SE 2, will reportedly be manufactured by Taiwanese original design manufacturer (ODM) Wistron at its Bengaluru factory that already produces the original iPhone SE.

As per a fresh supply-chain report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, Apple will launch the iPhone SE 2 in the first quarter of next year. The reported launch schedule appears to be in line with the original iPhone SE that was debuted in March last year. Further, the new low-end iPhone model is reportedly already in the initial stages of production at Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru. The facility was established for assembling iPhone SE models earlier this year, allowing Apple to enjoy reduced tariffs by adhering to the Make in India and thereby reduce prices on the smartphone.

The local manufacturing process is already helping Apple maintain an affordable price of the iPhone SE in India. This trend would continue with its refresh version. According to the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) policy, foreign companies producing goods in the country need to source 30 percent of their components locally. Therefore, the iPhone SE 2 is likely to be marketed as a new “Made in India” iPhone by the Cupertino company.

The report adds that the iPhone SE 2 will be targeted at markets like Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia, apart from India. It is also said to cost roughly $450 (roughly Rs. 29,200) – which if true would be significantly cheaper than the original iPhone SE’s launch price.

If we believe some recent reports, the second-generation iPhone SE will have Apple’s A10 Fusion chip that was debuted on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last year, coupled with 2GB of RAM as well as 32GB and 128GB storage options. The iPhone SE 2 is also rumoured to have a 12-megapixel rear camera sensor, a 5-megapixel front camera, and a 1700mAh battery. Moreover, the display of the new iPhone SE model is likely to be identical to its predecessor that has a 4-inch panel.

Apple can be expected to announce the iPhone SE model in March, if going by last year’s launch. Meanwhile, we can expect a series of rumours and leaks pointing towards the new hardware.

source:-gadgets.ndtv