Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Oracle claims Google exfiltrates 1GB of data from Android phones every month


Sunrise reported that there are over 10 million Android users in Australia.

Blumenthal and Markey said they asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai for answers, but received a response that raised further questions about their "characterization of basic consumer protection terms". The company has also claimed in the past that Google's Android data exfiltration activities go as far as recording the cell mast users' smartphones are connected to.

In Australia, regulators are investigating how Google is collecting data from Android phones - including location information - reportedly after longtime foe Oracle made a presentation to regulators there, repeating media reports that Android phones track location even when location services are turned off.

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Working for software firm Oracle, they believe that Google has been using one gigabyte of Android users' monthly mobile phone data to access their messages in the background. This to help it earn more advertising dollars. "The types and quantity of such data that a user's device transmits would depend on the products or services they use.in some cases a user's settings", it added. Moreover, the phone doesn't need to have any apps installed, or even a SIM card inserted. It falls back on using Google Play or Google Maps icon to ensure that it can evade detection.

Even when an individual's location service is disabled, Android would gather the addresses of nearby cellular towers and then share this data with Google, a practice it began at the start of 2017, according to the Quartz report.

"We investigate how users know about the use of their location data, and work closely with the Privacy Commissioner", said Geesche Jacobsen, a spokesman for the competition regulator.

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It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake". The company said they would be undertaking " rigorous reviews " to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

"Some mobile plans may only include a few gigabytes of data so if Google is harvesting a gigabyte of data, it is a very real cost to consumers", said David Vaile, chairman of the industry group, the Australian Privacy Foundation.

Oracle is of course in the middle of an ongoing lawsuit against Google in the USA with regards to Google supposedly using protected Java APIs in Android. According to Oracle, Google is able to get information as accurate as "which level of a shopping mall you are on" by using barometric pressure reading.

Volvo and Google first teamed up past year when Volvo first announced it would be using an Android-based infotainment system in future cars.

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