Bad times for user privacy. A new investigation ensures that Google does not stop tracking users, even when they disable the tracking options on their phones.
The group of researchers at Trinity College in Dublin who carried out the study has focused on analyzing how various layers of Android customization exchange data, including those from popular manufacturers such as Samsung, Xiaomi or Huawei.
According to the researchers, even if the user disables the tracking options, these devices send data both to the developers of the operating system and to third parties. This data exchange begins to occur with little configuration and as soon as you take the phone out of the box, just when it is at rest.
The cause is pre-installed applications
According to the investigation, the cause is system applications, that is, those apps that arrive pre-installed on the phone by the manufacturer (phone, camera or message applications, among others). Android usually packages these applications in the read-only memory (ROM) of the device, so they are impossible to remove or modify without applying radical actions such as root the device.
Researchers indicate that apps like Samsung Pass share data with Google Analytics about when and for how long we use the app. Through the messages app, Xiaomi or Huawei send timestamps of each user interaction with Google Analytics, as well as records each time a text message is sent.
According to the researchers, none of this data allows your phone to be identified as yours, but all of them make up a unique fingerprint with which it is possible to track your device.