50 privacy groups ask Pichai to safeguard Android users

Grit Daily News

This week, an open letter hit the web with the backing of over 50 privacy organizations pushing Google to take action against bloatware on Android.

At the other end of the scale, Motorola, Nokia and Google's own devices stick closely to what is called "stock" Android, that is the OS with no or very minimal additions.

Unsafe cyber-threats loom over the 3.4 billion internet users around the world; security experts have started highlighting vulnerabilities in everyday devices that could expose users to the risk of malicious attacks and the unlawful collection of personal data.

As a suggestion to combat the issue, the letter seeks Pichai's approval to let Android users un-install the pre-installed bloatware on their devices permanently.

The study was carried out cooperatively by IMDEA Networks Institute, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Stony Brook University, and ICSI.


Privacy International, along with dozens of other civil rights organisations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU, wrote: "Privacy cannot be a luxury offered only to those people who can afford it". Most of these fraud apps resemble the popular ones in Playstore, letting users believe they're worth and trustable. In an open letter sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the group of organizations that include the search engine company and Google's rival DuckDuckGo and the nonprofit organization The Tor Project have expressed concern about the vulnerabilities they face users due to preinstalled applications that can not be deleted and collected, shared and exposed their private data without prior knowledge or consent. This means permissions can be defined by the app - including access to the microphone, camera and location - without triggering the standard Android security prompts.

Signed by a group of privacy activists including those from DuckDuckGo and the Tor project, the letter stated that most of the apps are never checked for malware or updated, hence often left with loopholes on user devices.

At ProPrivacy.com, we strongly support consumer privacy for all. Experts urged to make it possible to uninstall apps on the device. Finally, pre-installed apps should have "some update mechanism" that doesn't require an account and that Google should refuse to certify devices with privacy concerns. Since this is the real world unlike the fictional movie one, Google has responded fiercely with a crackdown of over 1700 apps on its Play Store which were all infected by the phishing malware known as Bread.

The failure of Google to moderate the pre-installed app ecosystem has opened it up to a wild-west of exploitation, putting users' privacy and security at risk.

Just to put things into perspective, while the 2018 yearly review does not provide the exact number of removed malicious apps, the 2017 one said that the company "took down more than 700,000 apps that violated the Google Play policies, 70% more than the apps taken down in 2016".

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Patrick Stewart cements place in Hollywood
Star Trek: Picard will see favorites Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes , Jeri Ryan , and Brent Spiner reprising their roles. Learn and obtain the solar Misplaced In House Particular Version Journal proper right here!

Browns request interview with Vikings' George Paton for GM vacancy
Before you know it, the players are back in the building and we're going to be putting a system together offensively, defensively, etc.

Oscars 2020: 'Joker' makes history with 11 nominations for comic book movie
Instead, we got another list of virtually all white men, in an identical list to the 2020 Golden Globes' Best Director nominees . The nominees for documentary feature are: "American Factory"; "The Cave"; "The Edge of Democracy"; "For Sama"; " Honeyland ".

Sergio Agüero breaks two Premier League records in Manchester City win
The Argentina global beat Henry's tally on Sunday at Villa Park as he scored City's third and fifth goals in their 6-1 win. Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola , has named Lionel Messi as the best footballer in several positions.

Little Women is a Radical Act, With or Without the Oscars
Among others, Greta Gerwig was widely thought to be a major contender in the Best Director category for Little Women . Issa Rae was NOT pleased to hear that not one female was nominated for Best Director at the 2020 Oscars .

Other news