In July 2012, an Appthority App Reputation Report reviewed the top 50 Android and Apple apps to see how they behaved, particularly regarded collection of personal data.
Regarding Android based apps, 20% of the top 50 apps are created by google, where no other developer has even 6%. Apple only owns 2% of the top 50 apps on their App Store, and 92% have been created by unique developers which solidifies the idea that the days of top software developers running the business are over. Half of the top 50 IOS apps are games, where Android is lead by entertainment apps.
The bad behaviour of apps becomes clear when we regard personal and corporate data collection. 96% of IOS and 84% of Android apps can access your contacts, location, calendar or ad network. Although it’s easy to assume more relaxed apps such as games are more likely to access your sensitive data, it is almost as common in business, finance and health related apps.
Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.
Does technology have all the answers?
This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.
Creating technological solutions transparently
This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.
Technology as the connecting tool
Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.
“Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.