Android users are at high data tracking risk, study shows


Almost 200,000 data tracking attempts were made in just 30 days on a regular Android device through installed apps.

Developers behind the open-source operating system, /e/OS, installed LinkedIn, Spotify, Vinted, and Waze, among 34 other third-party apps on an Android phone. Within a month, they recorded nearly 195,000 attempts to track the device.

The gathered data can target users in various ways, from pushing ads encouraging them to buy certain products to shaping their social or political views through propaganda.

Sensitive information such as location, race, age, or health condition of users residing in the US is sent to Russia or China, reports the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

On average, a mobile phone user has 80 apps installed, with only 30 of the apps active. However, as a Cybernews experiment proved, apps are sucking data even when they are inactive.

Recently, we conducted an experiment to check which servers, when, and where the phone would connect to after downloading the top 100 apps from the Google Play Store.

The Android device connected to a server every 37 seconds, with some connections being made in Russia or China. While not uncommon, it is a potential privacy concern, especially when it occurs without the owners’ knowledge and permission, the experiment noted.

The experiment by /e/OS only emphasized Cybernews’ earlier findings - that it’s becoming harder to escape this type of surveillance.

“Even rejecting cookies, denying measurement insights, and limiting app installations, individuals still find themselves subject to relentless tracking, often without their explicit consent,” explains Gaël Duval, the creator of the /e/OS operating system.

The main issue is no longer just tackling annoying ads but also making sure that highly personal data isn't used against you.

For example, private messages sent through Facebook can work as evidence to charge women who had an illegal abortion in the US.


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Imposter syndrome is the “thief of potential” – interview

TikTok ban gets closer after House vote, but long legal battle awaits

Apple is reportedly canceling the production of its FineWoven iPhone case

European police call to stop encryption on social media

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