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Privacy and Permissions | Google+

With Google making headlines about the privacy of apps and the breaking news of the Facebook data breach earlier this year, it has become clear that the apps on our phones are now holding, and disseminating, large amounts of data and are doing so most of the time. More often than not, we as consumers don’t know what they are sharing or what we have given consent for these apps to do.

We often trade privacy and data usage agreements we might not be comfortable with, for a membership to an online community, an app, or a network.

Kit Walsh, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group mentioned, “It would take you two months to read all of the agreements that you click through in a year. The PayPal terms of service is longer than ‘Hamlet’ and lot less interesting to read.”

In this age of data prevalence and machine learning, permission is an increasingly valuable asset. Privacy permissions are supposed to provide a barrier between information shared and the app creators – but these permissions are often vague, and at times withhold functionality of permissions you are granting.

Where once companies created seemingly intentionally long privacy policies, the increased scrutiny from federal regulators has caused tech companies to take steps in improving and clarifying privacy policies for their users. With the latest announcement of Google discovering a bug that allowed app developers to access users data as well as their friends, Google is taking steps to up its protections.  

Customers have expectations for who they do business with, and if they are willing to trust their data with a company, privacy and protection should be upheld. Transparency in security measures is especially important today because fraudsters evolve with and know the in’s and out’s to authentication and security measures. Privacy policies and security measures can demonstrate that customer experience is a priority by use of technology like machine learning and AI – rather than easily surpassed traditional methods of authentication.

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