Every time you install an application onto your phone, you're asked to allow that app certain permissions: to use your camera, track your location, view your contacts, and more. While some of these permissions are necessary for the app to function, some apps take advantage of that process to gather (and exploit) information they may not actually need.
The Wire spoke with Olivier Amar, CEO of MyPermissions, about the best way to recognize which apps are using your data and how to stop it. Amar's first piece of advice: read the fine print. "It doesn't matter if it's on Android or iOS, applications will gain insight into who you are. On both platforms, however, the information requires that you give permission to that access, thus reading the small print before clicking install is a must! After you've installed applications, some of them might ask you to sign in with Facebook, Google, Twitter or another platform. Again, read the small print before you click ‘okay,’ because that's where you're being informed about the information you're giving away."
Depending on the app, some information is logical to give. Amar recommends that you ask the question "Why are they asking for access to this specific piece of personal information?" before you press accept. Naturally, you need to turn on Location Services in order to use FourSquare, and you must allow your camera and photos to be accessed to use Instagram.