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Pandora Android App Probably Sharing All Kinds of Personal Info With Advertisers

This week, Pandora (the internet radio service, not the fictional planet which James Cameron plans to actually bring into reality) was issued a subpoena by a federal grand jury to see if it–and other applications–is sharing your personal information with advertisers.

An independent analysis conducted by Veracode seems to confirm what the grand jury suspects: the Pandora Android app is sharing information such as gender, birth date and GPS location with the companies running ads on its application. That way they can essentially discern who you are, where you are and what you like, like the creepy personal ads in Minority Report.  Remember years and years ago when it felt strangely invasive for the clerk behind the counter at Radio Shack to ask for your address and phone number when you were buying batteries? Now companies simply forego asking at all and just cease whatever information they can off of your mobile device and pitch it to the highest bidder.

The question then becomes, is this the future? Is this just the way things are going to be? I write this while feeling fairly certain that there won’t be much outrage or indignation from anyone who reads about this story here or elsewhere. I know I promptly removed the Pandora app after finding out about this, but I acknowledge that I’m also mildly prone to paranoia, and I’m more protective of my privacy than many of my peers, it seems. I regularly keep friends and loved ones in the dark about my whereabouts and activities because they need to be aware of how capable I am of going off the grid at any given moment, damn it. Presently, I’m sitting with my back against a wall while I type this and I still have to look over my shoulder every twelve seconds because why is this wall so close? Was it always this close? Is it self-aware? GAHH!!

Other people might read about this and think, “Well, at least now I’ll get bombarded with ads that actually pertain to me, instead of random stuff that doesn’t interest me whatsoever.” Which is all well and good until they remote hack your brain with a techno-organic virus that makes you a minion of the hive mind. … … … It’s in Revelations, people!

About J. Compton

J. Compton is a horror author whose stories have appeared in Pseudopod, Arkham Tales and other publications. He is co-creator of the BNC, and a generally cool dude.

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