Despite the fact that I made an app called Ear Spy, I’m a big believer in privacy. I hate that my actions are tracked by companies and that I’ve been reduced to being just a consumer in so many of my interaction.
When we did Ear Spy, some people suggested that I should ask for email addresses to unlock features. I could build a list and sell that list on. It would probably make more money than the app. But I hate this idea. Every time I’m asked for my email address, I cringe.
I saw a story a few months ago on NBC News about how so many free mobile apps are tracking people’s movements and reporting back to their servers. This was too creepy . . . but as a developer, I know how easy it is to implement. So, I told my kids to watch out for the kind of apps they download.
On the Google Play descriptions for the apps, I added this disclaimer . . .
This is a “spy” application, but we do not spy on you.
We do not collect or store any information about the users of this application. Once you download it, it runs on your phone and never communicates with our servers.
As a free app, we make money only when you click on the banner ads. So, if you like the app, please visit some of our sponsors and click on the ads.
We use ads from different ad networks and Google Analytics for usage stats, but nothing else.
Ear Spy has been installed on more than 150,000 devices now. The other apps are catching up. I love all the users that have tried it . . . but I do not want to stalk them.
Our app users are probably very much like me. At least, I know we share the same interests. And, if they are like me, they don’t want to be treated like consumers. I would love to know more about them . . . but I respect their privacy and treat them as I want to be treated.
So, no offense, but I don’t care who you are. However, feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think of the apps and thanks for using them.