Beware of apps that sync with your contact list

It’s better to be safe than sorry with phone apps. A recent research done by Hong Kong investigative news agency Factwire has shown that apps like CM Security, Sync.ME and Truecaller are establishing the databases with phone numbers of billions of people. These apps get synced with the contacts in your phone and build databases of people’s names and phone numbers without your permission. These apps let you ‘reverse look-up’ the numbers that you or the app doesn’t recognise and takes much of the data from your contact list.

These apps have been described as highly deceptive. The BBC has also found the phone numbers of celebrities in these databases. Truecaller has ensured BBC about its strict protection of the user data. The company has also stated that it does not share any of the information with external organisations.

When you sync your contact list with these apps, you not only put your own privacy at risk but also of all those people who are in your contact list. The app, CM Security, has stopped its function of reverse look-up. These apps say that the users can opt out from their databases through their websites.    

A wearable to monitor your heart

You like to stay fit. You prefer to keep an eye on your body’s health. Here’s a convenient, small wearable that’ll keep track of the health of your heart and send the report to your Android device.

Researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre, Finland have developed Beat2Phone, the size of a thumb, with an android compatible app. It helps in identifying irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia. It calculates the heat rate and its variations accurately to detect arrhythmia and extended stress or overburden.

Beat2Phone comprises a thumb-sized ECG device to be worn on the chest, position and activity sensors and an Android app. It calculates the ECG signals with high rate of samples, detects individual heart beats and measures the time interval between successive heart beats. It then sends the generated report to the android device.

The device has successfully been tested for two years in real-life situations in collaboration with the Turku University Central Hospital. It is expected to be available for purchase soon.

The device can also be used for monitoring the heart patients at their homes before or after the surgery. They don’t need to go to the hospital as the generated reports are automatically forwarded to the hospital from the mobile device using a cloud feature.