Funny how a little block of technology we carry around with us can do-it-all. Our phones have become our lifelines and in many ways make our lives much easier. Smartphones can answer our weirdest questions, take video, send messages, get us directions and make phone calls (are we still doing that? 🙃). When it comes to sophisticated tech, smartphones are at the top of the list. But did you know they’re busy working even when we’re not directly using them?
Your smartphone might know more about you than you even know about yourself. Here’s a few common things that your smartphone (probably) knows about you.
Everything you Google or Search
What are you searching online? Your favorite websites and your browsing habits. What websites do you visit most often and when? Which websites do you bookmark? Your phone knows.
Your social life
What social networks do you use and what do you say on them? What about your phone contacts and where most of your friends live. Did you consider your photo library and where most of your photos are taken? Your phone knows that too.
Your location and travel
How do you travel most often? Where you live and the places and addresses you visit. How fast you walk and drive, and even the routes you commonly travel. What about where you go on holiday and the weather where you are. Your phone knows.
Fitness and health
Your phone monitors how many steps you take in a day, the stairs that you climb and even the distance that you travel.
Your face and fingerprints
Chances are, your phone uses biometrics for security. That means your phone likely knows your unique fingerprint and recognizes your face from stored data.
Siri collects data to better understand and recognize what you say. This is in the software license agreement from Apple. This information and what you say isn’t connected to your Apple ID but a random one that helps you remain anonymous.
All of the messages that a user has on her/his phone and also the ones that have been deleted. The messages are often recoverable when necessary. Apple, for example, has explained that deleted imessages/texts are kept for a period of time before being completely deleted to ensure that messages are delivered and read properly.
For the most part this information is used by developers and phone manufacturers to improve our digital experience and to create ease and efficiency in how we navigate our surroundings. Big companies are now under more scrutiny when it comes to user data. They're encouraged (and required) to remain transparent about what data they have and how they use it.
As consumer privacy policies become a larger concern, we're able to gain more awareness about how our information is used and more control over the personal data that we offer back through our device use.
If you’re curious about anything your smartphone knows about you, a lot of information can be controlled within your privacy settings and app settings (for applications that you’ve added to your phone).