A study of exactly what information is collected from users revealed (for those knew nothing about this being happening 24/7) that
“…with the notable exception of /e/OS, even when minimally configured and the handset is idle these vendor-customized Android variants transmit substantial amounts of information to the OS developer and also to third parties (Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) that have pre-installed system apps…”
The revelation is not novel in the way in what it unearthed, but it is groundbreaking that it has the courage to say the, khm, uncomfortable truth. The study published by the Trinity College of Dublin paints a dim picture of not just our future, but our unknown present as well.
The study came at the heels of many other scare stories concerning Google, but the context is very different… for now there is a context.
The research concluded that no matter what data is collected about you – and by whom -, eventually it WILL BE delivered to Google at the end of the day, as such is the design of things.
It is important to note that there’s no option to opt-out, so Android users are powerless against this type of “telemetry”.
This is particularly concerning when smartphone vendors include third-party apps that are silently collecting data even if they’re not used by the device owner, and which cannot be uninstalled.
For some of the built-in system apps like miui.analytics (Xiaomi), Heytap (Realme), and Hicloud (Huawei), the researchers found that the encrypted data can sometimes be decoded, putting the data at risk to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks – to make things worse.
The study (here, in a pdf file) even goes on to elaborate on how all profit-oriented enterprises are seemingly collaborate on this joint business that is stripping their Users’ data and henceforth, privacy.
Bleeping Computer, the site publishing news about the study already received a matketing-themed and sour tasted Google explanation:
“…While we appreciate the work of the researchers, we disagree that this behavior is unexpected – this is how modern smartphones work. As explained in our Google Play Services Help Center article, this data is essential for core device services such as push notifications and software updates across a diverse ecosystem of devices and software builds. For example, Google Play services uses data on certified Android devices to support core device features. Collection of limited basic information, such as a device’s IMEI, is necessary to deliver critical updates reliably across Android devices and apps…”
Of course we encourage you to believe Google – as long as you are using their OS 🤣🤣🤣