Finally a Reason to Like Math: Calculator App Hides Your Files

by NewsEditor_ on September 15th, 2015 in Industry and Security News.

An Alabama prosecuting attorney’s Facebook video, warning parents about a smartphone app that can secretly store their children’s photos and videos, has gone viral. The app is called Private Photo (Calculator%) which looks and functions like a standard digital calculator for smartphones until the user presses the decimal button, enters their password, then enters the decimal button again. When the password is entered the app opens a previously hidden repository of photos and videos concealed by the user. 

Smart phone applications which hide content are called “hide apps.” There are numerous hide apps available in the respective Google Play and Apple App Stores which promise to hide everything from texts, pictures, videos, and call history. Hide apps vary in their level of camouflage. The company which created the Private Photo (Calculator%) app, Digital Mind Co., Ltd., also sells a web browser application hidden behind a similar calculator interface called Private Browser (Calculator%). The browser can be used to surf the internet without anyone accessing the user’s browsing history or bookmarks. One of the most popular hide apps for Android users is App Lock – while it doesn’t camouflage itself like the calculator app, it hides a user’s photos, videos, text messages, etc. behind a locker icon which is password-protected. 

While the viral video for the Calculator% application was targeted at parents of children, adults could just as easily be using hide apps, whether they are attempting to protect their privacy or to hide aspects of their lives from a significant other. The aforementioned Facebook video has inspired some debate about a child’s right to privacy versus a parent’s need to protect them. Is the Calculator% application something parents deserve access to or is it similar to the lock on a child’s diary? 

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