Beware of spying on smartphone

Smartphone Intelligence Service: Ever taken a peek?

Life is like a film – sometimes at least. You might have heard of the film “The Lives of Others”, a spy flick focused on an East German Stasi captain named Wiesler (played by Ulrich Mühe). So, what does it have to do with digitisation and smartphones? Well, a little bit anyway: “One in four people secretly looks at other peoples’ smartphones” says the digital association Bitkom. Are we all secretly Stasi officers at heart? Probably not, however digitisation obviously isn’t any obstacle to natural human curiosity. Data theft can happen on a big scale, á la Cambridge Analytica or facebook, or on a small one as well …

What’s My Best Friend Typing Over There?

Ever checked your husband’s or wives’ e-mails? What kinds of messages are your children, your best friend, or your colleague getting? According to Bitkom, around a quarter of German smartphone users (27 percent) have picked up someone else’s cell phone and looked at the content saved there without the owner’s knowledge. Another 28 percent of those surveyed said they’d prefer not to say whether they’d done so or not. As a logical conclusion, almost three quarters (71 percent) feel uncomfortable giving their smartphone to someone else. 61 percent only hand over their devices if they can observe what the other person is doing.

Good Common Sense (Usually) Helps

And what about yourself? Ever taken a peek? In any case, we all know it’s not easy to change human nature. However, we can change how easy or how difficult it is for a curious person to get their hands on our data. Good common sense usually helps here and – in this case – modern technology such as being able to quickly lock your smartphone and then only unlock it using your own fingerprint. And if you still happen to catch someone “in the act” someday, you can always just shame them by telling them to “get a life!” …