New research on 'weather' to trust your apps leaves room for thought.
New research on 'weather' to trust your apps leaves room for thought. Lee Constable

Are you guilty of blindly trusting your phone apps?

How much do you trust your phone?

More specifically, how much do you trust the apps on your phone?

People have entered an unprecedented age of technology and it's the aspects of trust, the 'difficult multidimensional box' which need to be measured, researchers at Southern Cross University have said.

This issue of trust between users and their phones is a focal point for Southern Cross University researcher Michael Bryant, who has been studying the use of weather apps on smartphone.

With most apps comes lengthy terms and conditions that include the ability to track our every move, so it's a wonder many of us tap 'agree' without a second thought, Mr Bryant said.

"A lot of people used to listen to the radio for weather updates, but now all that information is in their pockets.”

He said many people traded away their personal information because weather apps were useful.

"People find that enabling location services on their weather apps is particularly useful as real-time information from local weather towers,” he said.

Often downloaded apps not only require access to the user's location, but also their contact lists, access to emails and other personal information.

"If you actually stopped to look at the disclaimers, sometimes weather apps request access to things such as contact lists, information which could actually be used and sold back to third parties including advertisers,” Mr Bryant said.

"Some businesses and U.S. government agencies have retained information in the past. There was that whole 'Candy Crush saga' where the popular gaming app was said to be 'leaky' with personal information which becomes a privacy and security issue.”

Mr Bryant is among other participants of Southern Cross University who are looking to find out if people wholeheartedly trust the information, the providers of the app and the phone itself.