How well do apps protect your privacy?
You just downloaded a new shiny app that is going to either organize your life perfectly, or entertain you endlessly, but do you really know what you’ve just done? Did you add a layer of vulnerability to your device, and thus your life?
Rather than reading the list of permissions you’ve just given (because let’s face it, most people don’t – you saw a shiny app, you’re ready to use that shiny app), there’s a new site that offers an actual grade for smartphone apps.
A team of researchers at Carnegie Melon University has launched PrivacyGrade which actually gives a letter grade to your favorite smartphone apps.
How does it work? Simply go to the PrivacyGrade website and search for that app you’re about to download it, preferably before you download it.
How do your favorite apps rank?
Did you know that Instagram earned an A while Angry Birds actually earned a dismal C?
Below are some of the grades given to just a handful apps as of publication (which are subject to change over time as privacy settings are improved, which is obviously one of the goals of this project):
- YouTube earned an A rating.
- Skype earned an A rating.
- Gmail earned an A rating.
- Chrome browser earned an A rating.
- Google Now earned an A+ rating.
- Viber earned an A rating.
- TripAdvisor earned an A rating.
- Shazam earned a B rating.
- Amazon Kindle earned a B rating.
- Netflix earned a B rating.
- Snapchat earned a B rating.
- Angry Birds earned a C rating.
- BrightestFlashlight earned a C rating.
- SoundHound earned a C rating.
- Texas Hold ‘Em earned a C rating.
- Fruit Ninja earned a D rating.
- Despicable Me earned a D rating.
- Tagged earned a D rating.