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23.11.2017

Android got caught snooping around

Popular Internet news outlet Quartz published an article that indicates that Google without user consent collects information about their location and movements. This affects owners of smartphones running Android. It’s common knowledge that smartphones can identify user’s location and report it to different services; this function quite often is very useful. However, Android smartphones, as it turned out, collect and sent information about user’s location to Google even when this function is turned off on the device. Moreover, even if SIM card is out but the device is connected to WiFi smartphones still record the location.

The problem is that devices running Android locate the nearest cell towers. This information then is transferred to Google’s servers. However, having this information it’s very easy to monitor users’ location and movements. This news was published yesterday and has already been confirmed by Google caused an uproar. Specialists consider it unacceptable to locate users without their knowledge or consent. Moreover, such practice goes against the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and might result in lawsuits by EU citizens.

Google assured that the data was transmitted in encrypted way and was not stored on servers. According to Google, they were used to improve the system of messages and notifications. Nevertheless, Google highlighted that the program will be terminated in the end of November.


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