The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects still remain, even when we’ve begun to move on from the crisis. Due to the pandemic, most people have become much more dependent on the internet, mobile devices, and mobile apps. Many vital societal structures have shifted to online operations. With this shift, the need for mobile apps has increased drastically. Whether it’s in remote learning, online business transactions, or even in telemedicine being deployed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the apps that we use can easily be used to farm data.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the number of cybercrime reports has increased significantly. The rising cases of the exploitation of personal data for commercial gain is only one problem that stems from the careless handling of personal data. This vulnerability is not just a threat to everyday people, it is also a matter of national security.
How Much Does Your Phone Know About You?
By now, most people ought to know that a lot of what they do on their phone can be seen by data monitors, app developers, and phone manufacturers. In fact, entire businesses have been built on the sale of customer information. Uber is a ride-hailing business, yet it does not own its own fleet of cars. AirBnB and Agoda provide accommodation, yet they do not own rental property. These companies thrive by providing a means to connect users with the service providers they need. In order to do this, customer data is needed.
WhatsApp: The Turncoat
Why Should This Matter?
Information is not only power, it is also profit. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with using apps. In fact, most people can live without these apps, but would rather not. May we stay vigilant and cautious with the data that we share, especially during times when it’s so easy to start an information-gathering campaign under the guise of the apps that we need.