Millions of Android users have access to pre-installed Apps on their phone and they use it on a daily basis to for different tasks. But not many of us are aware that these Apps could be pose as a big risk for all the information that we enter and provide in them. A study conducted recently by a group of academics in Spain speaks about this privacy threat lurking around us.
The concerning part about this issue is that pre-installed Apps on Android cannot be deleted and the smartphone makers have their own set of Apps which are in-built in the phone before being delivered to the public. This is mainly because Google has made the Android operating system an open source platform where the developers are free to moderate and package any Apps as they wish.
The Study says:
We have identified instances of user tracking activities by pre-installed Android software which range from collecting the usual set of PII and geolocation information to more invasive
data-collection practices that include personal email and phone call metadata, contacts, and a variety of behavioral and usage statistics in some cases.
This situation has become a peril to users’ privacy and even security due to an abuse of privilege, such as in the case of pre-installed malware, or as a result of poor software engineering practices that introduce vulnerabilities and dangerous backdoors.
Users’ activities, personal data, and habits may be constantly monitored by stakeholders that many users may have never heard of, let alone consented to collect their data