Smartphones and profiling

3 min
Tags: smartphone profiling data collection

You can do a lot more with a smartphone than just make calls. The use of a smartphone has become very versatile these days. Thus, a smartphone can also become the perfect data hunter and collect user information, which the user does not even suspect.

A huge amount of data

Almost every third person in Europe has their own smartphone, and the statistics are even higher for younger citizens. The smartphone has become the mobile all-rounder. Nowadays, such devices shine with numerous entertaining and useful functions. With the smartphone, the user can surf the Internet or use an intelligent shopping list. Additional apps provide entertainment or add extra value. Some of these small programs are entertaining as well as practical for everyday use.

The companion of everyday life

So it is not surprising that the smartphone has become an everyday companion and is used more often than a conventional mobile phone. However, when it comes to determining your location using GPS and connecting to the Internet, you should be careful with your personal data, because many people find personal information appealing. Therefore, every user should critically deal with the management of personal data and data protection when creating a profile. Comprehensive data on websites visited, call lists, location data and even address book entries are collected and passed on using simple applications. This happens even if it is just a simple flashlight function on the smartphone.

Photo by Przemyslaw Marczynski / Unsplash

Developing and selling apps means a huge effort for the manufacturer. Many of these apps are even free. So what is the provider hoping for? Payment is made on the basis of personal data; sometimes even the data of acquaintances and friends is collected when it comes to communication directly from the address book.

User profiles and their value

The value of a user profile should therefore not be underestimated, online advertising clearly has priority here. Personalized advertising is what counts for many companies. If potential customers are reached with a precise advertisement, it is automatically more valuable. Rough target groups were a thing of the past, today advertising is placed in a targeted manner. That is why the wishes, habits and preferences of individuals are so sought after. If the social environment of the user is included, effective advertising is practically perfect. It is then all the more likely that the product will be noticed and bought.

Total transparency for smartphone user profiles

Nowadays a smartphone user has become almost transparent. That is exactly how tailor-made advertising is created and placed. The data collections are getting bigger and bigger, the logs are particularly comprehensive. The user is not even aware that he is being spied on if he has his mobile smartphone companion with him. Comprehensive information is also recorded by the operating system used. The most sought-after information includes:

  • Duration, time and date of calls
  • SMS information
  • Numbers of callers
  • Call logs
  • Telephone number
  • Entered search terms
  • Pages viewed
  • Unique IP address
  • Location data

It is up to the individual to take responsibility for their actions when it comes to the use of the smartphone and the entire profile. In principle, the data subject should always give their consent before data is collected and passed on or processed. The principle of data minimization is therefore the top priority of all. There is information that is provided voluntarily. Nevertheless, the user should react carefully when it comes to free apps or similar services. The data protection regulations should be examined very carefully. The same applies to the security settings on the device.