Unlike every column I have ever written, this column begins by giving you, the reader, a quiz and then an assignment. The quiz is easy, and will help you understand the topic better.

First, answer this question: If you were to open an app on your smartphone, would you know what data that app can access? For example, if you opened the Contacts app, would you know what that app is doing with the names, addresses, phone numbers and other information (such as Social Security numbers or dates of birth) included in each Contact listing? Does the app agree that your Contacts are private, or does it share the information with other apps or companies or export the information to its servers where it does God knows what with the information?