Google’s Messages and Phone apps for Android have quietly collected and sent users’ text and call data to the US giant, raising important questions about user privacy.
The data that Google collects from its users has been a hot topic for several years, but a recently released research paper may raise new questions, especially regarding messages and phone calls. Indeed, Douglas Leith, professor of computer science at Trinity College Dublin, revealed in a document that Google was spying on you without your consent through the most basic apps on your smartphone.
It seems that the Messages and Phone applications of Android smartphones were able to share your personal data to Google servers without your permission. which would violate European GDPR regulations.
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The document states that “ the data transmitted by Google Messages includes a hash of the message body, which allows the sender and recipient to be linked in the exchange of messages “. Although Google only receives a 128-bit value from the hash of the message, Leith asserts thatit would be possible to reverse the hash and reveal the content of short messagesallowing Google to view your interactions.
Douglas Leith adds that ” The data transmitted by the Google Phone includes the time and duration of the call, again linking the two phones involved in a phone call “. In other words, Google knows exactly who it is with when you communicate using your Android smartphone.
Google would also have access to the phone numbers of your contacts or to the incoming and outgoing call logs. The problem is that the two pre-installed versions of these applications on Android smartphones do not have specific privacy policies explaining what data is collectedwhich Google requires from third-party developers.
This is not the first time that Google has been accused of secretly collecting data from its users. Moreover, the American digital giant had implemented many measures to hide the privacy settings so that users do not deactivate them.
Source: Douglas J. Leith