Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed a few areas where you should brush up on your personal privacy settings for both Facebook and Google. Chances are you read it and said, “man that would be good to do, but I am busy… I will get to it tomorrow.”
If you fell into that bucket, you should probably rethink your choice. Why, you ask?
The answer to that is that Google has made a deal with Facebook that would allow Google to crawl and index the mobile app of the leading social network.
While the news shows that there is some cooperation between these tech behemoths, the search is limited to public information – similar to what is done on desktop – it just goes to show that privacy is something that we should be keeping an eye on.
Check what personal data you are sharing via Google services https://t.co/QBw9Svczny pic.twitter.com/NNAYscyYuN
— Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) November 17, 2015
In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Facebook’s agreement to let Google’s technology inside its app suggests the social network sees some benefit from the collaboration. That could include users who stay inside the Facebook app after following a Google search result there.”
Go figure, two Big Data companies seeing a value in indexing the data that users freely give and share through all of their actions on either of the two sites. While it might be something both note is beneficial to the end user for more relevant ads/search, it also means that they cash in with companies serving ads.
Google's mobile search just got a boost from Facebook.. https://t.co/35X32MBXlg https://t.co/SK3WZnqIrK #Tech #stocks
— Top Tech Stocks (@Top_Tech_Stocks) November 16, 2015
With the deal with Facebook letting Google look under the hood, one would have to wonder if this is the start of developers becoming more open to “sharing” with the world’s largest search engine. No matter what the app is, it is sure to have some value to Google, Facebook or another advertising partner.
Earlier this week, Dmitry Bestuzhev of our GReAT team penned a post on our research blog Securelist noting, Wake up! You’ve been p0wned! I would suggest reading, but in summary, the article focuses on an iOS app that is typically one that users pay for that had been turned to free.
#p0wned while sleeping!
“Wake up! You’ve been p0wned” – #hacking via #Mobile apps.
— Dmitry Bestuzhev (@dimitribest) November 24, 2015
This particular app helped wake the user up when they were in their lightest sleep pattern based upon data collected from the app. Pretty cool, but then again what can be done with that data if a criminal got their hands on it? Let’s hope that it doesn’t come to that.
However, with that in mind, I cannot help think of a commonly uttered statement, “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.”
Keep calm and search #Facebook with #Google
The fact of the matter is that we all like free things and we often don’t read the T&C of the apps or services we are signing up for. We’re human and by nature fallible. However, we should start keeping that in mind more when it comes to our privacy given the potential implications of Google getting more access to app data.
If you are asking yourself on how you can keep your info safe, I would point you in the direction of Kaspersky Internet Security, which has Safe Browsing and allows you to choose who you share your data with. You could also read the long legalese from the apps as well if you were so inclined.