Geolocation and Smartphone Applications

Posted by Collin Gaines

April 20, 2015

Iphone_2Corporations have a duty to maximize profits for their shareholders. In the digital world, the easiest way for companies to increase profits is to monetize the data from current users of these companies’ applications or technological products. For example, a consumer’s smartphone location is continuously shared through third-party applications everyday, all day.  Many consumers are unaware of this business strategy and indeed, view it as an intrusion. A study by Carnegie Mellon University, in 2014 determined that “concise privacy-relevant information” frequently was shared including location, phone contact lists, calendar and call logs. Indeed, during the study, a participant received a message stating, “Your location has been shared 5,398 times with Facebook, Groupon, GO Launcher EX and seven other apps in the last 14 days.” Such a message demonstrates the volume in that consumers information is shared. In fact, the researchers found “that many popular Android apps tracked their users an average 6,200 times per participant over a two-week period, or about every three minutes!” Therefore,  the ever increasing “smartphone addiction” that is taking place in society today, has lead to an erosion of the 4th Amendment Constitutional right to privacy.
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