Google has been working to address Android customers’ privacy concerns, but according to a recent study report, the company has been obtaining user data via apps such as Google Dialer and Messages. These two applications are pre-installed on Android phones, and based on the research, they send data to Google without the user’s consent.
Reportedly, Google collects data about the user, including SHA26 hashes of messages, as well as their timestamps, contact information, inbound and outbound call records, and the timeframe of all calls. Douglas Leith, a computer science professor at Trinity College, gathered the research. Google collects data about the user, including SHA26 hashes of messages, as well as their timestamps, contact information, incoming and outgoing call records, and the duration of all calls.
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Although the content is kept in a hash format, Leith believes that Google can quickly reverse the hash to determine the messages’ substance. He further claims that Google has been discreetly avoiding disclosing its data gathering policy for its Dialer and Messages apps, which most parties consider to be an obvious breach.
Last year, Leith published his analysis, following which he alerted Google of his findings on these apps. He said that Google has taken some significant improvements to avoid such privacy breaches. Google, for its part, has volunteered to explain why it collects information from the Dialer and Messages apps.
The message hash is collected to detect message sequencing bugs. The phone logs are also kept to aid in the automated identification of one-time passwords supplied over the RCS platform. While these answers don’t exactly offer Google the clean bill of health it seeks, we’re expecting that future Android versions and app store standards will bring about a much-needed improvement, allowing consumers to feel comfortable while using Google’s applications.
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