Online Privacy: Track Which Apps Access Your Personal Information

| TMO Quick Tip

Thanks to heartbleed, there's a renewed interest in sorting out which apps and services can access our personal information. Considering how many apps we use every day, that can be a pretty daunting task. With a little help from MyPermissions, however, that's far more manageable, and it can help you control exactly what information online services can gather, too.

MyPermissions show you which apps use online services, and what they can do with your dataMyPermissions show you which apps use online services, and what they can do with your data

MyPermissions runs in your Web browser and as an iPhone app. It checks to see which apps and services have access to your personal information, and just what they can do with that data.

The permissions various apps get can be quite surprising. In my case, eight apps on my Mac tie into Google, have basic permissions to act on my behalf, view my contacts, read my calendar, and in the case of the Google Search App, have full access to my Google account.

That last one sounds pretty bad, and the others sound fairly nefarious, too. Most, at least in my situation, are OK because they're apps -- like BusyCal -- that need access to my Google calendars to keep my appointments in sync. Still, it's good to know just how much access apps have to my online accounts and personal data.

MyPermissions is free to use, as is their iPhone app. Giving up your privacy online, however, could end up being very expensive, so go ahead and take an active role in policing exactly what the apps you use can really do with your personal information.

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Lee Dronick

They want an email address in order to use the app.


Boy, did I do some house cleaning, ot what?


Thank you, very much!

In trying it out, I discovered that I had inadvertently gotten signed into Google+ by mistake.
Here is what I told Google, when I was asked why I was
After I had then cancelled out of Google+, queried me:
“You’ve successfully deleted Google+ and associated social content. We’re sorry to see you leave! Please help us improve by telling us why you are leaving and what we can do better - Please tell us why you’re leaving.”

Perhaps some of you will appreciate what I filled into Google’s answer box there:
“Android & Google users are NOT Google’s customers. Those users are only Google’s products (Google’s whores), just information for sale. Google’s customers are the advertisers (Google’s “johns”). Google is your pimp, NOT your friend.”

Doing that delighted me so much, I went back & did it again, so I could add:
“I told you why I getting myself out of Google, already. You also want to know “...what we can do better”: You can’t. Google is as fundamentally evil as any other pimp, & Google would have to stop being my pimp if it wanted to stop being evil; Google would have to stop being Google.”

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