Appexiom, a technology firm specializing in privacy and risk, has announced the launch of AppInformant. Available now on Google Play, AppInformant for smartphones is the first privacy informant of its kind, helping consumers understand the privacy risks of applications that they have downloaded to their mobile device.
As millions of mobile applications are downloaded by consumers every day, privacy issues have come to the forefront as people are starting to realize that apps of all nature have the ability to access their private information and phone hardware features. Venture Beat, a highly respected technology blog, recently reported that mobile applications were accessing and transmitting user address books without permission. Further investigations have revealed mobile applications recording user keystrokes and communication logs, including dialed phone numbers and sent text messages, without any knowledge to the user.
The privacy issues stemming from mobile applications have become such a concern that The Federal Trade Commission in the United States, which regulates the usage of consumer data on the internet, has started looking into mobile application’s handling of private information.
In a time where little is known about privacy risks in the smartphone environment, AppInformant was developed to help educate consumers regarding the potential dangers of specific applications on their mobile devices. App Informant is a risk analysis tool for consumers, allowing them to get a better understanding of applications on their phones, what privacy information they access, and ultimately how this impacts smartphone users.
By using information visualization techniques, AppInformant provides visibility to users in regards to what information is being exposed by their mobile device. AppInformant provides a variety of innovative security features for mobile phones to help put consumers at ease. The Unlock Pattern module can be assigned to specific apps, such as email, photo gallery or messages, to ensure an extra layer of security on the most critical elements of people’s mobile device. The Hardware Monitoring tool informs the user whenever one of the hardware components of the devices is being activated, and allows them to set policies to take control of device connection to Wi-Fi networks.
“I think people need to understand that their privacy is under attack,” said Shayan Mashatian, Founder and CEO of Appexiom Inc. “Just like with PCs, there are inherent security threats with mobile devices. While there are a variety of security options for PCs, there simply aren’t enough tools to help consumers understand the risk issues associated with mobile. Smartphones contain an incredible amount of personal data so it’s critical people understand their private information is at risk. AppInformant delivers comprehensive visibility of real security issues, while educating and providing the ability to mitigate risks on your mobile device. For the amount of time people spend on their mobile phones, users need to understand the threats and how to protect themselves.”
By allowing users to understand the threats to their personal data and privacy on their mobile phones, AppInformant will prove to be an invaluable element for anyone’s smartphone. The first version of AppInformant is developed for the Google Android mobile platform and will eventually support other platforms such as iOS and BlackBerry in the next releases. AppInformant can be downloaded at the Android Market.