Apps used as alternatives to prison in US found to have privacy flaws

An analysis of 16 apps used as alternatives to incarceration found numerous privacy problems including in an app used to track almost 248,000 immigrants

Technology 3 September 2022

Close up hand use mobile app to control light in house.

Some monitoring apps are used in place of incarceration

Getty Images/Moment R/panithan pholpanichrassamee

An analysis of monitoring apps installed on people’s smartphones in the US as an alternative to incarceration found numerous privacy flaws. For instance, an app used to track a quarter of a million people with pending immigration cases required “dangerous permissions” without mentioning it in its privacy policy.

Kentrell Owens at the University of Washington in Seattle and his colleagues analysed 16 Android smartphone apps used by federal and state authorities to track people awaiting immigration court dates, young people …

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