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IDG Contributor Network: Personalized privacy app manages smartphone permission settings

By Kacy Zurkus

I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s accepted the privacy terms of an app on my phone without fully reading the conditions in their entirety. Sure, it’s bad practice, but everyone in security knows that in a battle between convenience and privacy, convenience will usually come out on top.

That’s why Norm Sadeh, professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science and the director of CMU’s Mobile Commerce Laboratory, has (with a team at CMU) created a personalized privacy app in an effort to help consumers protect their data.

Released in early February, the Privacy Assistant app is available to users of the Android rooted phone through the Google Play store. When people blindly hit “accept,” they don’t often understand that hidden in the small print throughout those 15 pages is the permission for the app to have total access to their private information.

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