Smartphone Privacy: Experts Uncover Issues

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with two investigations highlighting concerns related to smartphone advertising and the iOS notification system.

This week has seen significant revelations concerning the privacy and security of smartphone users,

Described as a "secretive spy tool," Patternz operates through popular apps like 9Gag and various caller ID apps, turning a phone into a "de facto tracking bracelet."

In a comprehensive investigation by 404 Media, a company named Patternz was exposed for exploiting the ad delivery system on smartphones to extract information through apps and transmit it to bidders.

The existence of such tools also raises concerns about government surveillance, with companies like ISA offering services to national security agencies.

ISA, the surveillance company behind Patternz, collects data from RTB players like Google and X, raising questions about the effectiveness of Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature.

Social apps with invasive data collection habits utilize the background runtime provided by push notifications, enabling them to execute code in the background and send device data while operating covertly.

On a different front, an investigation by Mysk uncovered that bad actors are exploiting push notifications on iPhones to collect data for diagnostics and customized content delivery.

Despite upcoming changes by Apple to require developers to explain the need for push notification access, user vigilance remains crucial in protecting against illicit surveillance and potential privacy breaches.

Experts suggest that disabling notifications could be a solution to this problem. Additionally, installing ad-blockers, dedicated security apps, and being cautious about app permissions can contribute to user safety.

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