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Keep tabs on your phone apps to avoid being tracked by 'data brokers', expert says

When you load up an app to your phone, you could also be loading up the digital spies.

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The Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler has been investigating the issue. Source: Seven Sharp

Because while you sleep, your phone is passing on data such as your phone number, email address and even your location.

This, despite some phone companies advertising that what happens on your phone stays there.

But Washington Post journalist, Geoffrey Fowler found that it’s a problem that affects any phones carrying apps.

The culprits include Nike, Microsoft Onedrive and music giant, Spotify.

Fowler says apps work like websites and use trackers like cookies however apps don’t give you a pop-up message like websites do.

"Trackers are used to figure out how to market to you, to figure out how to take your data and even sell it on the internet," he says.

"That’s the whole industry of data brokers."

Mr Fowler says he found a wide range of his personal information was being shared.

"I found my phone number, my email address, my exact GPS coordinates, I found information about other apps I was using on my phone," he says.

He says marketers use this information to send certain "messages your way".

The solution he says, is to delete apps you don’t use often.

"The best way to keep an app from collecting your data and either storing it itself or sharing it with third parties or trackers is to just not have it there."