CES 2014: Privacy Gets Attention in iPhone & Android Apps

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With many smartphone users wanting to safeguard their locations and other personal information, developers ranging from Marco Polo to SnoopWall rolled out new privacy apps at CES 2014.

Formerly available for Android only, the new edition of the Marco Polo app is for the iPhone. “It’s an app to privately share location with friends. You choose who to share with,” noted Aneel Ranadive, company co-founder. “It’s kind of like ‘Snapchat for location,” he told Brighthand.

There’s no location tracking, unlike what you’d get with Apple’s “Find My Friends,” and users do not broadcast to their entire networks, as they would with Foursquare.

The app aggregates geo-tagged posts from Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr and is able to display their locations on a map.

Users can also find their friends from their current locations via a compass. However, to prevent stalking, you can only follow people you are already friends with in your social networks, according to Ranadive.


The new SnoopWall app, on the other hand, is for Android only, although SnoopWall is now developing other products for the iOS and Windows platforms.

The Android app combines granular control over app permissions with protection of GPS, Webcam, microophone, Bluetooth, WiFi, and other data ports on the device.

The controls over app permissions are aimed at letting users disable the ability of apps to access information like geographic location and address book data.

The release of the SnoopWall app follows close on the heels of Google’s recent removal of Android’s App Oops feature, which had previously provided users with app permission controls. 



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