83% of Pakistani students are unaware that their data can be accessed by tech companies

Written by Faisal Saeed ·  1 min read >

Have you heard of a saying Ignorance is bliss? Well, it’s not true always. A recent survey has found that 83 percent of university students are unaware that service providers and software companies can access the data on their smart devices. This is not the end of it, these companies or service providers are even authorized to share that data with third parties.

The students were also ignorant of the fact that the data collected through mobile devices, televisions and wearable gadgets can be hacked and misused, as reported by Dawn News.

The Network for Consumer Protection to commemorate World Consumer Rights Day on March 15, conducted a survey from 500 students.

“Survey asked 500 students if they knew data on their devices could be accessed by service providers, software companies and shared with third parties”

According to The Network CEO Nadeem Iqbal, the total number of smartphones used in Pakistan is close to 150 million, and around 70% of users range between the ages of 21 and 30.

He stated in the survey, “When we asked the students that if they were aware that the data available on their devices can be accessed by service providers and that while downloading every software, consumers sign a no objection letter under which the device can be accessed and data can be handed over to third parties”, 83% of the students said “yes” they signed that agreement and but they were unaware of what they signed.

He further added that the Federal Investigation Agency received a complaint alleging that the bank data belonging to more than 1000 people was hacked. Also, “Pakistan is one of five countries where the number of smart devices is increasing by leaps and bounds, and the government should make that there is a policy for consumer rights”.

Last year, the Interior Ministry informed the Senate that around 1244 complaints were received about the unauthorized transactions made through the ATMs and internet banking transfers.

The Network also wrote a letter to the PTA recommending that consumers should be provided with products containing basic security standards and updates should also be provided for a reasonable period of time so that hackers cannot easily access the mobile data and misuse it later.