• Home

Is Your Smartphone Outsmarting You?

By Jason Weinstein, Faith Jessie.
When is the last time you logged onto a social media site like Facebook and posted about where you went on vacation or to dinner? A team of researchers based at Binghamton University say that post is probably getting seen by more people than you think.

They are developing an encrypted app that will block third party sites from seeing your location to give users more privacy.

A BU professor says they've been developing the app for a year and hope that large social media sites like Facebook and Google will be interested in the technology as an add on to their apps in order to provide a more secure and private social media experience.

"Some users particularly using the location based services, they will reveal their exact location to the internet without any protection schemes so we are thinking about providing more privacy to these groups of people because if they reveal this kind of location information without any protection anybody can track them easily," said BU Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Linke Guo.

"As we increasingly share our personal information online, we should be able to enjoy the benefits of new technology without putting ourselves at risk. Consumers must remain vigilant in guarding their personal data online by always reviewing a website or app's privacy policy and using any privacy controls. Consumers should also consider disabling location tracking when possible, which identifies your geographic location. My office will continue to do all it can to ensure New Yorkers are protected but also educated on how to share their personal information safely and securely online." -Attorney General Schneiderman

Guo says that although their app would help to conceal a user's location, it would be unacceptable to hide all information because a lot of the data is used for convenience. Guo also says that his team is hoping to find the best balance between the amount of public and private information leaked from a user.