Here is a problem with the new smart phones. It seems like everyone I know who has one is always busy downloading new cell phone apps. Most never read the terms of service (some of which are as long as 25 pages) or they would never let these applications on their phones.
Something as simple as a flashlight application brings with it spyware. Take a look at the following interview with Gary Miliefsky the CEO of Snoopwall. He has researched the top 10 flashlight applications currently being downloaded in this country. All 10 had spyware on them. Your information is being sent to unknown parties in one of three countries, China, India or Russia. The spyware allows them to see almost anything your phone has on it, including pictures, personnel information and even your location.
Snoopwall published a threat assessment report on flashlight applications to help you be aware of the hidden dangers and show what the applications are capable off.
Now I use a cell phone everyday, so I am not saying you have to cut yourself off from the modern communication. But I use an older style phone not a smart phone and I do not download any phone apps on to it. Even so, I am still aware of the potential the phone still has for misuse.
Do a search on the internet on spyware and you will see all the programs that are for sale that can be installed on your phone by a third party. Even if you turn your phone off the government and I am sure others have the ability to turn it back on and maybe listen to your conversations as well as track your location. If you want real privacy, you need to remove the battery from your phone or leave it home.
Now I am not trying to be an alarmist or help criminals to hide from the law, but I think we all need to be aware of what others can do to hurt us. Be careful of what phone apps you put on to your phone.