Selling Data- Earning Model?
We all are now worried about our privacy of data among various applications. So anyone of you has ever heard about the company named- X-Mode Social? I think the majority of you must be thinking- NO! But this company may be having control of your phone as its code may be in some of the applications installed on your phone which could be responsible for tracking and selling you location data.
But someone is thinking to save you from this, it is Google and Apple will be trying to put a full stop to it. The tech companies have made clear to developers to remove X-Mode’s code from their apps according to a Wall Street Journal article, ignoring this would lead to the removal of their app from their respective app stores.
X-Mode: Using SDKs
X-Mode works by providing developers code to put into their app which is known as SDK that helps in tracking the user and further sending the data to X-Mode resulting in its sale. The app developer gets paid by X-Mode based on how many users are using the app. Over 400 apps have X-Mode technology, which is prevalent in apps designed for Muslim users based on pray reminder and a Muslim-centric dating app.
Apple and Google: Vigilant
One week is given by Google to developers to remove the SDK and two weeks is given by Apple with an option of applying a 30 days extension. But X-Mode model of tracking and selling data is not a new idea, it was prevalent but vigilance against X-Mode by Google and Apple is that it was also selling it to the US military as per reports of Motherboard. The reason behind X-Mode using apps that are Muslim-centric could be understandable which is a concerning issue.
Government buying citizen’s location data is not a new deed but they mostly buy from data brokers who get their data from various sources rather than directly from the company. It is certainly singling out X-Mode as they say they collect similar mobile app data as most advertising SDKs.
Think Before Permitting
Every app seeks permission to get your locations and only if you give permission, then only they can get the location data but often apps don’t make it clear that they are giving the data to X-Mode, sometimes it is included in EULA (which most people don’t read) or it is never mentioned. So if your app is asking permission for your location, you must be thinking before allowing whether it needs it or not.
But it won’t protect you from cases where location permission could be needy in some of the dating apps. This is why some lawmakers, Apple, and Google are making a move to regularize how is your data sold by companies.