Revelations that the National Security Agency is tapping smartphone applications to mine personal information highlight the risk millions take every day when they play games, schedule lunch or check the weather.
Documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica show the U.S. and U.K. have infiltrated mobile software for details about users’ comings and goings and social affiliations. Among the so-called leaky apps with the greatest privacy perils are Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Google Plus, Pinterest Inc.’s online bulletin board and “Candy Crush Saga,” the most popular game on Facebook Inc. (FB), according to an analysis by Zscaler Inc.
“Privacy is dead in the digital world that we live in,” said Michael Sutton, vice president of security research at San Jose, California-based Zscaler. “I tell people, unless you are comfortable putting that statement on a billboard in Times Square and having everyone see it, I would not share that information digitally.”