They find that Android is tracking your mobile phone (even if you don’t give it permission to do so)

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October 13, 2021 09:44 GMT

While some system apps are essential and used daily (like the camera or messaging apps), there are many others that share your private information, even though you may never have opened them.

This month, researchers from the University of Edinburgh (UK) and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland) published a study They warned that many Android “smartphone” companies track your mobile phone at all times.

According to researchers, this happens Even if the user monitors their digital privacy And taking basic precautions, such as removing suspicious apps and rejecting suggestions to track their actions when you install a new “app.” Experts conclude that whatever you do, there are so-called “system apps”, which by default are installed by default in the device’s RAM and it is almost impossible to remove or remove them completely.

After analyzing the data sharing habits of some common variants of the Android operating system, including those developed by Samsung and Xiaomi y HuaweiThe authors of the study concluded that “with a little configuration,” from the very first moment and even when the mobile phone is idle, these applications will constantly send device data to operating system developers and a large number of third parties.

Although some system apps are essential and used daily (such as the camera or messaging apps), there are many others that do not stop sharing private information, even though the user may have never opened them.

For example, in the case of Samsung, the LinkedIn app sends “telemetry data” to Microsoft’s servers, including details such as a device’s unique identifier and the number of Microsoft apps installed on it. Moreover, the data also said Shared with any analytics provider to which the “application” is connected, such as Google Analytics.

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Another example is Google’s messaging app, which comes pre-installed on Xiaomi phones, which shares timestamps of every user interaction with Google Analytics, as well as logs of every text message sent.

When the data provided by these and many other system “apps” are collected, A unique “fingerprint” is created Which can be used to track a device and thus find out who the user is.

Finally, the researchers stress that Google does not set rules about whether developers can collect this information, only about what they are allowed to do with it once it is collected. For this reason, the system “applications” Able to override explicit privacy exclusion settings For the user, since they are working in the background, regardless of whether they are opened or not.

Lovell Loxley

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