The picture above must be familiar to many of you. A lot of services and websites give you the option to sign in with your Facebook or Google account. There is a price to this convenience however. Facebook and Google shares your information to these websites. At the minimum, Facebook typically shares your public profile while Google typically hands over your email address or mobile number. Some apps get more information than that. An example is Google providing your Google Wallet’s details to an app like Uber.
This feature is highly convenient, however, where do we draw the line?
The current heightened focus on data privacy comes with some drawbacks. Companies use personal data to improve their services, some companies might be afraid to launch certain products or services in fear of the potential backlash should the service not meet current privacy standards.
Google shut down their Mobile Network Insights in August 2019 after 2 years of running it. Mobile Network Insights shared data from users of Android powered phones. This move was fueled by motivations on not drawing attention and scrutiny from its users and public. The android operating system service helped wireless carriers determine where to extend or upgrade their mobile coverage and its removal could negatively affect users’ mobile speeds.
Privacy or convenience? I would personally choose convenience but that’s just me. I am sure that this debate will continue to be a hot topic as the world becomes more digitalised.