Keeping our homes and cars secure are top priority for many, but what about personal data? Individuals may be actively opting in to give apps their personal data without even realizing it. Jan. 28 is Data Privacy Day, commemorating the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. In honor of that, UScellular is highlighting tips to help users know how apps may be using their personal information.
While most apps utilize information like location, photos and microphone to optimize functionality, it’s important for phone users to be aware of what data is actually required and how to revoke or give permission to specific apps. Tips include:
- Check privacy settings to be aware of what apps currently have access to your personal information. To check which apps are accessing your private information, open the Settings app on your device and click on the option labeled Privacy. A list of data including contacts, calendar, camera, microphone and more will populate, allowing users to click on a personal data keyword and view which apps currently have access to that data. Users can then choose the apps that they want to have access to that personal information.
- Update Location Services. From Settings, then Privacy, users can click into Location Services and review which apps are currently using their locations. While it may not be necessary for all apps to utilize location settings, there are benefits to some apps having access, such as navigation tools and apps like Find My iPhone in emergency situations.
- Consider ad targeting permissions. Whether phone users are interested in targeted advertising to get personalized deals or want to remain hidden from advertisers, there are a few tips users should know. Within Privacy, Apple users, for example, can click Apple Advertising to toggle off or on for personalized advertising for a more targeted experience. Additionally, Tracking will give users the option to have apps request to track them for targeted advertising or to measure actions for advertising.
- Be cognizant of requests when downloading a new app. Most of the time when a user downloads a new app, they will get a prompt to give the app access to specific information. Users should consider why the app may need the information and therefore, if they should give or revoke permission. For example, if a user plans to speak through the app, it will be necessary for the app to access the microphone, but the app may not need access to the camera.
“Our phones hold a plethora of vital information and features that help make our lives easier, but it’s important that consumers stay informed to what type of information they’re giving apps and how they are using the information,” says Nathan Waddell, Director of Sales in East Tennessee. “As phone users we give apps data to help them work more efficiently and to get a more personalized experience, but we want users to make informed decisions on data access and we want them to know that they have the power to revoke or give permission as they please.”
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses
and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with UScellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.