Smartphones Put Your Privacy At Risk Commonlit Answers

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  • 11th Grade

Source: Smartphones Put Your Privacy At Risk by Maria Temming

Assessment Questions Answers

QuestionAnswer
Which TWO statements identify the central ideas of the text?Software designers have developed tools to help protect users’ personal information from improper gathering.
Smartphones are equipped with a variety of sensors that collect more information than a person may realize or be comfortable with.
What is the author’s overall purpose in the text?to promote awareness among readers about
smartphones and apps
How does the discussion of people’s reliance on smartphones in paragraphs 1-4 contribute to the text?It shows how people’s reliance on smartphones allows for data to be collected about them.
How does paragraph 25 contribute to the development of ideas in the text?It shows how information collected by sensors could be used in a way that negatively affects you.
What is the meaning of “benign” in paragraph 30?harmless
According to paragraph 45, how are phone sensor attacks developing over time?They are becoming more advanced in how they collect and use data.
How can smartphone security systems affect user experience?They block sensors that make apps more user-friendly.

Which statement best describes the connection between testing the abilities of smartphone sensors and protecting smartphone users’ privacy?

Testing the abilities of smartphone sensors is crucial for understanding how these sensors can be exploited to infringe on users’ privacy, which in turn informs the development of more effective security measures and privacy protections for smartphone users.

Through such testing, researchers can identify vulnerabilities and design solutions to safeguard against unauthorized data collection and misuse, thereby enhancing user privacy protection.

Discussion Answers

If you have a smartphone, would you ever give it up because of the threat it poses to your privacy? Why or why not?

As an 11th grader, honestly, I probably wouldn’t give up my smartphone even knowing the privacy risks. It’s like, my whole life is on there—chatting with friends, doing school stuff, listening to music, and scrolling through social media.

It’s how I stay connected and get things done. But, reading about all these privacy issues does freak me out a bit. I think instead of ditching my phone, I’d try to be smarter about how I use it.

Like, paying more attention to the permissions apps are asking for and maybe using some of those security apps they mentioned to keep my data safer. It’s kinda like learning to drive safely instead of swearing off cars because they can be dangerous, you know? You take precautions but don’t just give up the benefits because of the risks.


Many smartphone users may not realize the various ways that information is being collected about them. How do you protect your privacy when using your smartphone or other electronic devices? What are additional steps you can take to secure your private information when you use technology? Do you think smartphone companies have a responsibility to the consumer to protect their information from dangerous apps?

As an 11th grader who’s pretty much grown up with technology, I’ve picked up a few tricks to keep my privacy in check while using my smartphone and other devices. First off, I always look at the app permissions before downloading anything.

If a game wants access to my contacts or location, that’s a hard pass. I also use a passcode and biometric locks, like fingerprint or face ID, to keep my phone secure in case it gets lost or stolen.

To amp up my privacy, I could do a few more things, like regularly updating my apps and the phone’s operating system to patch any security holes.

Using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) when on public Wi-Fi can also help protect my data from snoops. And maybe it’s time to review those social media privacy settings again, so I’m only sharing what I want with who I want.

Regarding smartphone companies and their responsibility to protect us from sketchy apps, I definitely think they have a role to play. They’re making the hardware and software we’re all using, so it makes sense they’d help keep it safe.

Like, they should vet apps more thoroughly before letting them into app stores and provide regular security updates to block new threats. It’s kind of like how car manufacturers have to ensure their vehicles are safe to drive.

Sure, it’s on us to drive safely, but it’s also on them to make sure the brakes work. So, yeah, smartphone companies should definitely be doing their part to protect our information from dangerous apps.


The sensors needed to make a smartphone effective can actually put users’ information at risk. What are the costs and benefits of the sensors that allow smartphones to collect information about you? How would our smartphones be altered if these sensors were disabled or less effective? Do you think this would be worth the protection of an individual’s privacy? Why or why not?

The whole deal with smartphone sensors is like a double-edged sword. On one hand, these sensors—like GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and microphones—make our phones super useful. GPS helps us navigate cities, accelerometers track our fitness progress, and microphones let us talk to our phones to set reminders or search the web.

Without these, smartphones would feel like taking a huge step back to the dumbphone era. We’d lose out on a lot of convenience and functionality, like getting real-time directions or being able to automatically record our daily steps.

But then, there’s the dark side. These same sensors can track way more than we bargained for, giving apps (and whoever’s behind them) a peek into our private lives. Like, an app could figure out when you’re home or even what you’re typing based on motion sensor data. Creepy, right?

If these sensors were dialed back or turned off, we’d gain some privacy. No more worrying about an app spying on where we are or what we’re doing. But we’d also lose a lot of what makes smartphones so smart.

Like, imagine not having your phone automatically adjust its screen brightness based on the room you’re in—that’s the light sensor at work. Or not getting step counts without a separate device. It would make smartphones way less handy.

Is it worth it? I think it’s about finding a balance. Completely ditching these sensors would make our phones way less useful, and I’m not sure everyone would be cool with that trade-off. But maybe we could have more control over these sensors, like being able to easily switch them on and off or set rules for how they’re used by apps.

That way, we could still enjoy the benefits without feeling like we’re constantly being watched. So, yeah, it’s about striking the right balance between privacy and convenience.

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Avery L. Mitchell
Avery L. Mitchell
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Avery L. Mitchell is a literary enthusiast with a passion for classic literature and its enduring themes. Holding a Master's degree in English Literature from the University of Eldenbridge, Avery has spent over a decade analyzing and writing about timeless literary works. With a keen eye for detail and a deep appreciation for storytelling, Avery brings stories to life with insightful commentary and engaging narratives. When not immersed in books, Avery enjoys hiking, photography, and exploring hidden cafes in her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.




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