Yet another Android scare shows how little Google protects your privacy

Alfred Ng for Cnet:

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute found up to 1,325 Android apps that were gathering data from devices even after people explicitly denied them permission. Serge Egelman, director of usable security and privacy research at the ICSI, presented the study in late June at the Federal Trade Commission’s PrivacyCon.

“Fundamentally, consumers have very few tools and cues that they can use to reasonably control their privacy and make decisions about it,” Egelman said at the conference. “If app developers can just circumvent the system, then asking consumers for permission is relatively meaningless.”

“… researchers notified Google about these issues last September… Google said it would be addressing the issues in Android Q, which is expected to release this year.

MacDailyNews Take: Where to start here? Is it the lack of respect for user’s expressed desire to refuse permission to data-stealing apps?

Or is it Google’s shameful declaration that it has no intention of fixing this frightening flaw until it ships a new Android update that very few people will be able to install in the first place?

One thing Tim Cook is right about is that on Android, you are the product. We think Google’s whole model is to make your life a searchable commodity.


  1. Reading the source article it seems the short ‘summary’ above spins the problem to be something that is unique to Android. Can we safely say no other OS would have the same insecurities shown in the quote below?

    “The 1,325 apps that violated permissions on Android used workarounds hidden in its code that would take personal data from sources like Wi-Fi connections and metadata stored in photos.”

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