Smartphone apps: How to spot and stop firms tracking your phone
New smartphone apps can, such as WhisperCore, can nix phone tracking.
A company that makes security software for smart phones has released a new product that shows when and how an app is snooping on you.
Called WhisperMonitor, the new software gives some Android phone users additional control over what their apps are doing. Two prominent computer security researchers, Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson, founded Whisper Systems, the company behind the software. The new software is rolled into the latest release of its main product, WhisperCore, which, among other things, encrypts the data that a user stores on an Android device.
WhisperMonitor joins a growing number of applications designed for privacy protection. These include Little Snitch, a Mac desktop application that intercepts applications attempting to connect to the Internet, and Lookout Mobile Security, which offers a premium version of its Android app that tracks what data apps can access.
Late last month, a controversy exploded after researchers discovered that iPhones and Android phones collect and store location data in a way that could allow companies to track users' movements. Some users, concerned about how that data could be used, have launched lawsuits against smart-phone makers.
Vincenzo Iozzo, an independent security researcher best known for hacking Apple's iPhone. Iozzo warns that while the app might be able to prevent Android phones from transmitting location data, in the process it might break other applications or cause other problems for the phone.