Risk factor about the information security is this that if any of its application compromises, the hackers or intruders will have access to all of users’ data/information and the issues of theft of identity may arises. Most vulnerable if the handheld device is Android where many Goggle Apps will have single and always sign-in situation.
However, the sensitive users have to care about their personal information & activities as well as business information and activities. When Google accept the tracking your move, your choices, your searches, your analysis, record of your downloads and images, your friends, your flavor of liking and disliking, he is also obtaining the business competitive analysis raw data and can easily construct leading survey results better than the Gartner. For example the manufacturer of type A products have correspondence and appointments with the region/location AA. The consumers of product B imports their products from Company BB.
Another important question is about the information which is being accessed by Google through its Applications:
Just for instance, if you inspect Google Maps Application Security Information / Permission on a handheld device like BlackBerry it has access on Connections like USB, Bluetooth, Phone, Location Data, Wi-Fi and Internet, Interaction between Cross Applications, Communication, Device Settings, Media and User Data like PIM, Email, Organizer Data, Files etc. I have tried to “Deny” the permission for some of them and as a result of it, the application stopped working. How many consumers know that Google Apps and/or other Applications have access to your personal data which was not relevant to these applications normally? Why they need access to users’ organizational email which is not a Gmail? I this Consumer Rights infringements / violations should be studied by the Consumer Rights supporting organization and the awareness of this breach should be communicated to public/consumers.
HP is also collecting data through the Photosmart utility and cartridge memory chip claiming it as anonymous information and prompt to user either they allow or not. But it does not state that while collecting the image type, quality or performance of utility, the image it-self or the user’s information is not being queued for uploading.
With reference to the above context I think, it is necessary to further study for the “potential violation” of “Consumer Rights” and the impact of such provisioning in privacy policies where majority of the consumer of the services is unfamiliar/ unaware and ignorant that what is being happend with their data/application devices, usage and moves.
Thanks and Regards
Imran Ahmad Shah