Apps and Mobile Ads Make Surveillance Easy

Apps and Mobile Ads Make Surveillance Easy  [Source: MIT Technology Review]

From the article:

It is often difficult to tell whether an app is using encryption or not to transmit data. Web browsers show a padlock icon next to a site’s Web address if it is using encryption, but there is no such equivalent for mobile apps. Manually checking whether a mobile app is securing data transfers involves inspecting network logs to examine how an app is connecting to servers.

This is something that’s been rolling in my head, and is the subject of an upcoming paper I’m writing about privacy and the need for a system to at least notify us of the granularity of the data being “exported”.  It would also help to able to somehow independently verify that the data being sent across in secure, without resorting to a deep packet inspection of outbound data.