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Tag Archives for " Android "

Google is reportedly working on an anti-tracking feature for Android

Google is looking to develop an anti—tracking feature for Android similar to the one Apple is rolling out with iOS 14.5.

The tech giant is reportedly in the early stages of exploring how it can limit data collection and cross-app tracking for its mobile OS. However, it intends to find a less stringent solution than Apple’s so as not to completely alienate its advertising partners.

Source: Google is reportedly working on an anti-tracking feature for Android | Engadget

How Law Enforcement Gets Around Your Smartphone’s Encryption

New research indicates governments already have methods and tools that, for better or worse, let them access locked smartphones thanks to weaknesses in the security schemes of Android and iOS.

Cryptographers at Johns Hopkins University used publicly available documentation from Apple and Google as well as their own analysis to assess the robustness of Android and iOS encryption.

Full article: How Law Enforcement Gets Around Your Smartphone’s Encryption | WIRED

Android apps with millions of downloads are vulnerable to serious attacks

Android apps with hundreds of millions of downloads are vulnerable to attacks that allow malicious apps to steal contacts, login credentials, private messages, and other sensitive information. Security firm Check Point said that the Edge Browser, the XRecorder video and screen recorder, and the PowerDirector video editor are among those affected.

The vulnerability actually resides in the Google Play Core Library, which is a collection of code made by Google. The library allows apps to streamline the update process by, for instance, receiving new versions during runtime and tailoring updates to an individual app’s specific configuration or a specific phone model the app is running on.

Source: Android apps with millions of downloads are vulnerable to serious attacks | Ars Technica

Google is adding end-to-end encryption to its Android Messages app

“We recognize that your conversations are private,” says Google.

Google is upping the security for at least some of the conversations on its Messages app by adding end-to-end encryption.

It will be rolling out end-to-end encryption on Messages, starting with one-on-one conversations between people using the Rich Communication Services-based version of the app.

Source: Google is adding end-to-end encryption to its Android Messages app | ZDNet

Google will start removing stalkerware and ‘misleading’ apps from its Play Store from October 21

The tech giant will give app developers until October 1 to remove stalkerware code from their official online store.

Google has announced that it is clamping down on apps containing stalkerware capabilities, defined by the company as “code that transmits personal information off the device without adequate notice or consent and doesn’t display a persistent notification that this is happening.”

On September 16, the company updated its Developer Program Policy to state that any apps distributed on its store that monitors a user’s behaviour must include, “adequate notice or consent”; a “persistent notification” of background tracking; must not present their app as a “spying or secret surveillance solution”; or attempt to “hide” or “mislead” users of their surveillance purposes.

Source: Google will start removing stalkerware and ‘misleading’ apps from its Play Store from October 21

Google adds new privacy controls in Android 11 launch

A number of privacy controls featured in Google’s release of Android 11.

Chief among these is the function to allow one-time permissions, or single-use access to the microphone, camera and location permissions, rather than allowing ongoing access after permission is initially granted.

In addition, Android now includes “auto-reset” permissions for apps that have remained unused for a while, meaning that you will need to re-grant permission to the app if you wish to use it again.

Source: Google adds new privacy controls in Android 11 launch

Popular fertility app Premom shared data without user consent

The popular fertility app Premom asks users to upload details about their sexual health to receive personalized, remote analysis to help predict how to get pregnant.

But Premom’s app for Android was also collecting a broad swath of data about its users and sharing it without their permission with three Chinese companies focused on advertising.

While many apps use third parties to collect analytics or target ads, IDAC researchers say Premom users had no way of opting out of this tracking by both the app and the third parties that received their data, which IDAC contends was a violation of Google’s rules.

Source: Popular fertility app Premom shared data without user consent, researchers say – The Washington Post

TikTok found to have tracked Android users’ MAC addresses until late last year

Until late last year social video app TikTok was using an extra layer of encryption to conceal a tactic for tracking Android users via the MAC address of their device, which skirted Google’s policies and did not allow users to opt out.

Analysis found that this concealed tracking ended in November as U.S. scrutiny of the company dialed up, after at least 15 months during which TikTok had been gathering the fixed identifier without users’ knowledge.

Source: TikTok found to have tracked Android users’ MAC addresses until late last year | TechCrunch

Android user chucks potential $10 billion lawsuit at Google

Google “abuses Android OS to obtain a competitive advantage”, according to a lawsuit filed this week alleging that the Alphabet offshoot “secretively monitored and collected users’ sensitive personal data” to develop apps to compete with TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

The putative class-action suit also alleged that Google was gathering info from TikTok specifically in order to unfairly compete against TikTok with a competing video platform app called ‘Shorts’.

Source: Android user chucks potential $10bn+ sueball at Google over ‘spying’, ‘harvesting data’… this time to build supposed rival to TikTok called ‘Shorts’ • The Register

New Android Flaw Affecting Over 1 Billion Phones Let Attackers Hijack Apps

New Android Bug Affecting Over A Billion Phones Could Let Malware Hijack Legitimate Apps.

A security vulnerability affecting Android that malicious apps can exploit to masquerade as any other app installed on a targeted device to display fake interfaces to the users, tricking them into giving away sensitive information.

Dubbed ‘Strandhogg 2.0,’ the new vulnerability affects all Android devices, except those running the latest version, Android Q / 10, of the mobile operating system—which, unfortunately, is running on only 15-20% of the total Android-powered devices, leaving billions of rest of the smartphones vulnerable to the attackers.

Source: New Android Flaw Affecting Over 1 Billion Phones Let Attackers Hijack Apps

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