Upon the release of the smartphones, there were a small percentage of people who could either afford them or were willing to make substantial cuts in other areas to have a piece of the latest technology in the cellphone world. Now, nearly everyone has a smartphone, and the majority of people are actually using their smartphone like a smartphone, which means they have Internet subscriptions, use text messaging and have an addiction to the various applications being offered. While these certainly have made life easier than ever for those who are constantly on the go and do not have time to constantly monitor their computer for emails, they also have their downsides.
As of recently, HTC, a Taiwanese cell phone manufacturer, that just so happens to be one of the biggest manufacturers of smartphones has discovered just how scary smartphones can be. The Federal Trade Commission, FCC, informed them that a civil suit had been brought against them based upon the fact that the phones were potentially leaking personal information about the phone’s owner. The suit alleged that someone would have the potential to find the person’s current location, record their phone calls and much more.
Although still illegal, a recorded conversation by a third party between two friends might not result in much damage, imagine what could happen if a business call involving the exchange of account numbers, social-security numbers or credit card numbers was recorded. This could result in the customer suing the business for failing to protect the details, and it would not even be the business’ fault- it would be HTC’s fault. Fortunately, the FCC got to the bottom of how the door was standing wide open for these types of horrific events to potentially occur.
They found that HTC was pre-installing applications on all of their cellphones, which were created by third parties. Many of these applications had a user agreement that they were allowed to collect information about the user. Now, all cell phone applications have a user agreement that says they reserve the right to collect personal information, but, they do not do so in the same manner the apps on the HTC phones did. In addition, users did not have the option to delete the pre-installed apps; whereas, they simply could have not installed these types of apps on another cell phone manufacturer’s phone.