Smartphones store a wealth of valuable personal data—photos, videos, e-mail, texts, app data, GPS locations, and Web browsing habits—that is increasingly falling into the hands of advertisers, app makers, law enforcement, and crooks.
A survey published recently by the University of California, Berkeley, law researchers suggests there is a significant disconnect between many people's perception of the security and privacy of data on their smartphones, and the reality.
The majority of mobile phone users surveyed for the report said, for example, that they didn't like the idea of other people accessing the information stored on their mobile phones. More than 80 percent said they would not want a work colleague to use their phone, and half said they would not want even close friends to access their device. The majority of respondents also said they believed their mobile phone to be as private as their personal computer. The study involved telephoning 1,200 households on a mixture of landlines and mobile devices, and was funded by Nokia.