Smartphones

Android Phones Track You Even If You Turn Everything Off, Researchers Find – India Times


Have you scanned your Android smartphone device for apps heavy on tracking and revoked their permissions? Turns out, it’s not enough to prevent being tracked. A new assessment has shed light on how Android smartphones collect data about you even if you turn off all kinds of tracking.

Developed by researchers at Trinity College in Dublin, the assessment is based on data-sharing habits of some of the most popular Android smartphone devices including Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei.

Android phones
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What data is being tracked?

With “little configuration” and while resting idly, the phones would send device data to the developers of operating software and a select few third parties. That’s not even the worst thing. In most cases, users don’t have a way out of this data-pinging, even if they want to.

The researchers pinned the largest share of the blame on “system apps” that are essentially pre-installed apps provided by the smartphone manufacturer to offer functionality including the camera app.

Android phone
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Most of these apps are stored in the phone’s “read only memory” (ROM), implying that these apps cannot be deleted or modified without the user rooting their devices.

Also read: Apps On Apple iPhone Track You As Much As Android Apps, Oxford Study Reveals

Unless the devices are rooted, they were sending back data to their parent company even if you never opened these applications.

For instance, researchers found that Microsoft’s pre-installed apps like LinkedIn constantly ping back to Microsoft servers. This includes details about your device like its unique identifier and the number of Microsoft apps in the form of “telemetry data”, Gizmodo reported.

Android phone
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Samsung and Xiaomi’s pre-installed apps like Samsung Pass were found to be collecting timestamps about each user’s usage of the apps, which was then routed through Google Analytics.

Also read: EU Wants Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android To Provide Software Updates For Seven Years

Most shared data includes event logs, device hardware information, a kind of identifier (adID).

What do you think about this data tracking undertaken by technology biggies? Let us know in the comments below. For the latest in tech and science, keep reading Indiatimes.com.  





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