Halloween horrors – the most frightening things about the mobile apps we use every day

What Mobile
October 31, 2019

Halloween is upon us and we have had a look at some of the most frightening things about the mobile apps people use every day. Recently we have seen an increase in privacy concerns around how everyday apps may be potentially putting people’s data at risk.

  1. FaceApp

One particular app that took social media by storm this summer was the viral photo editing app, FaceApp, which allows users to upload their photos to find out what they would look like if they were a young, old or different gender. However, fears were raised that the app would retain users images and usernames long after they’ve deleted the app.

2. Life360

Life360 is a location-sharing app for families, which allows parents to track their kids’ whereabouts in, real-time and receive regular updates. Users are able to receive real time alerts when friends or family arrive or leave home, work or school. The app has been criticised for its 24/7 surveillance feature, which parents use to track their teenage children’s whereabouts. The app also allows family members to track peoples driving behaviours to see if they are speeding, driving irresponsibly or even texting.

3. Gradient

More recently, we’ve also seen a new viral app explode onto the scene and dominate social media. Photo editing app Gradient, allows users to upload a picture of themselves to see what famous faces they most resemble. A number of unsuspecting users have since complained that they’ve been charged an automatic monthly subscription once their ‘free trial’ ended. Further concerns have also been raised around the accuracy of the ‘look-alike technology’.

4. Facebook

Over the
past few years, privacy and security have been at the centre of debate and
criticism targeted at digital giants such as Facebook, which has made it
increasingly difficult for users to trust that their personal information is
safe and protected. Earlier this year, Facebook announced its move into the
cryptocurrency world, which undoubtedly raised some eyebrows. Viber conducted research looking at
British consumers’ trust in Facebook’s digital currency and found that:

  • 49 per cent of Brits say they would not trust Facebook to keep their information secure when using Libra.
  • 17 per cent of Brits admit that they would not use Libra for any payments.
  • 50 per cent of UK Millennials admit that they wouldn’t trust Facebook at all, compared to 48 per cent of Baby Boomers, 38 per cent of Gen Z’s and 14 per cent of Gen X who said the same.
  • Only 1 per cent of Brits say they would be willing to try Libra for payments.

5. TikTok

Short video-sharing app TikTok has come
under scrutiny for reportedly collecting personal data from children without
consent. The app is popular with young smartphone users and has come under fire
for failing to seek parental consent before collecting personal information
such as names and email addresses. Earlier this year the US Federal Trade
Commission fined the app $5.7 million over children’s data privacy and ordered the
app to introduce new measures to protect users that are under 13.

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