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Spies are everywhere

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Under Google's watchful eye?

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If you take everything you read in the news seriously, you may want to turn your home into a Faraday cage. And it’s no wonder given that international corporations have learnt how to track users through their devices even after they’ve been turned off!

Android users fell under the watchful eye of Google. The company was collecting their location data even if they had manually disabled that option on their devices.

This practice was introduced in 2017. According to Mashable, Google was collecting device caller IDs. Experts believe Google did this to improve its targeted advertising.

http://mashable.com/2017/11/21/google-android-location-tracking-services-turned-off/#dHLu0rjSuqqC

Let's see whether things are really as bad as they seem.

Since early 2017, Android-powered devices have been collecting cellular addresses from nearby cellular towers, even if location services were disabled, and forwarding the data to Google.

Google confirmed that it has been collecting the information for the past eleven months. According to the company’s spokesperson, the data was never used or stored, and the practice is now being discontinued.

“In January of this year, we began looking into using Cell ID codes as an additional signal to further improve the speed and performance of message delivery,” the Google spokesperson said in an email. “However, we never incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately discarded, and we updated it to no longer request Cell ID.”

https://qz.com/1131515/google-collects-android-users-locations-even-when-location-services-are-disabled

Can we trust Google in matters involving data that has been acquired without user consent? It's a difficult question because there is no way to verify Google's statement. But we know for a fact that the data was transmitted from Android smartphones and tablets. Even factory reset devices with location services disabled were collecting and forwarding this information. Even if a phone had no SIM card, the operating system would merely wait until an Internet connection was established over Wi-Fi.

#Аndroid #Google #mobile #security

Dr.Web recommends

  • Modern smartphones aren't just phones running a browser and a couple of apps. Don't let their small size fool you—in your pocket lies a powerful computer that is capable of many things.
  • If you don't want your device to live a secret life of its own, relay your data to unknown parties, and display ads, scan it to see whether there are Trojans in its firmware before you start using it. Usually, system infections lurk on low-end devices, but no device is immune to this risk.
  • If you don't want anyone, even the operating system developer, to receive any kind of information from your device, choose firmware that doesn't feature any Google services at all. But before you use that device, check the firmware with Dr.Web for Android—otherwise you may only make things worse.
  • There’s no reason to worry too much about turned off devices tracking your activities. At least for the time being.

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