DusseldorfLock the front door, lower the voice in confidential conversations, keep your distance from the urinal: This, as it is shown by an Apple commercial, is self-evident for most people. "If privacy matters in your life," the corporation concludes, "it should also play a role on the phone your life is on."
This thought-out advertising message shows that there is an awareness that there are tons of private data stored on smartphones – and that many would like to get access to it, from app developers to secret services. The Chaos Computer Club once called the mobile phone a locating bug.
Apple uses the privacy promise to market its expensive hardware. In fact, the electronics manufacturer collects relatively little information: The map program does not save the route of the routes, the image recognition in the photo collection is done directly on the device and not in the cloud, in the browser tracking is blocked by default.
However, a look into the settings is also worthwhile for iPhone users. For example, Apple will advertise on the App Store and in the News app, tailored to the person and location. This can be turned off under "Privacy / Advertising".
With its smartphone operating system Android, Google takes a different view from Apple: device manufacturers can use it for free, but need to place several Google services prominently if they want to use the Play Store with apps and music – which is often without alternative.
The Android smartphones therefore transfer in the default settings a lot of data to the Group. How many, a study by the University of Vanderbilt in the US shows: According to the devices regularly send the location and the activities of the user in the data center. "At the end of the day, Google identified user interests with remarkable accuracy," the researchers said.
The use can be limited. So in the settings there is the menu item "Google", where users can get an overview of the stored information and – for example, search, voice assistant and map service – can stop the use of certain information.
In addition, there are too many apps from Google alternatives: Threema is about an encrypted messenger, Osmand a free map and navigation service, F-Droid an alternative App Store, in which there are only open-source applications. Android can be synonymous without the offers of Google use, albeit with restrictions.
A threat to privacy – regardless of the operating system – many apps: They grab address books, track the location history or record the activities on the screen. Despite security checks by Apple and Google, there are always such cases.
These practices can be partially stopped: With iOS and new versions of Android, users can decide for themselves, for example, if they want to grant access to the camera or location services. Without this access, however, not all apps will work. Speech recognition applications require, for example, the microphone and an Internet connection.
Many dubious activities of apps, however, can not be understood, for example, when the developer of a menstrual calendar, the data to Facebook. (Facebook declares that it will not tolerate this practice that has just become public.) As banal as it sounds, users have to judge whether they want to trust the developer of an app. Apple can not do that either.
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