Android Phones Sharing Significant User Data Without Opt-Outs
Android mobile phones are undertaking significant data sharing without offering opt-outs for users, according to a new report by researchers at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Edinburgh.
The authors said the scale of data transmission taking place is far beyond what is to be expected, raising major privacy concerns.
For the study, the team analyzed six variants of the Android OS to determine the amount of data they are sending to developers and third parties with pre-installed system apps, such as Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Facebook. The phones manufacturers included in the study were Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Realme, LineageOS and /e/OS.
All of the developers, with the exception of e/OS, collected a list of all the apps installed on a handset. The researchers noted this information is potentially sensitive, as it can reveal user interests, such as sexual orientation or political views, e.g., a Republican news app.
The Xiaomi handset was revealed to be sending details of all app screens viewed by users to Xiaomi, including when and for how long each app is used. This data appeared to be sent outside Europe to Singapore. The Huawei handset sent tech giant Microsoft details