I'm a tech expert – essential apps everyone uses that you should delete NOW… they could have major risks | The Sun

THESE are the apps phone owners should delete amid major privacy concerns, according to a tech expert.

Cybersecurity specialist Tom Gaffney said he would never use several popular apps because of how they treat private data.

Using the programmes allows your information to be monitored by "big tech" companies, he told the Daily Mail.

Digital voice assistants like Alexa are listening to you so they know when you are trying to activate them, he warned.

Tom said: "I don't use them at all, but for those that do, I would not place them in the bathroom or bedroom. Though they wake on trigger words, they listen for a few seconds afterwards.

"The data going to a central cloud is by design, in reality the processing could be done far more securely on the device, in the home."


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He also shared his suspicions about Uber, claiming that the company has a history of issues around privacy, such as the "Good View" features which allowed drivers to see users' locations.

Tom said: "Their previous head of security was charged for withholding a past data breach in 2016 and there have been leaks of driver data in 2022 and more recently this year."

Another major app he won't use is WhatsApp.

Despite the encryption of the messages, Tom dislikes the fact that it shares data with Facebook, as they are both owned by Meta.

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A spokesperson for Uber said: "Over 118 million active users trust Uber given the robust safeguards in place to prevent loss or unauthorized use of personal data.

"As has been widely reported, Uber stopped using the mentioned tools over five years ago.

"Today, Uber has stringent privacy and security policies in place to protect the data of both riders and drivers.”

A Meta spokesperson said: "Protecting the privacy and security of people's data is fundamental to how our business works. 

"That's why we've invested heavily in features like Privacy Check-up and Privacy Basics to provide transparency and controls for people to both understand and manage their privacy preferences."

A Whatsapp spokesman added: “We always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Meta can see your private messages.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: "We design Alexa and Echo devices with multiple layers of privacy and security protection, from microphone and camera controls to the ability to view and delete your voice recordings.

"We ensure that customers’ data is protected at all times. This includes customers’ Alexa voice recordings which are stored securely in the Amazon cloud.

"Echo devices are designed to record as little audio as possible. By default, they are designed to only detect your chosen wake word (Alexa, Amazon, Computer, Echo, or Ziggy) by identifying acoustic patterns that match the wake word.

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"No audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the wake word and the audio stream is closed immediately after we determine a request has ended.

"A typical request is only a few seconds of audio. You’ll always know when Alexa is sending your request to the cloud because a blue light indicator will appear or an audio tone will sound on your Echo device."

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