Google is sued for secretly collecting data from Android users

As the title says a new case against the Mountain View, California company. On Thursday, November 12, 2020, Joseph Taylor, Edward Mlakar, Mick Cleary and Eugene Alvis, in fact, filed a complaint in the United States District Court of San José, accusing Google to steal information belonging to Android users through hidden and unreliable transmissions to its servers.

According to the complaint, the company secretly exploits the mobile data quotas of Android users in order to transmit information about them.

It should also be noted that Google designed the Android operating system to collect large amounts of information about users. In this way, you generate billions of profits a year while selling targeted digital advertising. But to do this, the web giant must also illegally hijack the property of these users, including their mobile phone data.

“In fact, Google is forcing these users to subsidize its surveillance by secretly programming Android devices to constantly transmit user information to Google in real time, thus appropriating the valuable mobile data that users have purchased. Google does this, to a large extent, for its own financial benefit, and without informing users or asking for their consent, ”the complaint reads.

This secret exchange it does not refer at all to data sent over Wi-Fi. 

As the complaint indicates the case where it applies to the data sent through a cellular connection in the absence of Wi-Fi in the event that an Android user opts for a program connected to the network.

In fact, whistleblowers are very concerned about the data sent to Google's servers as it is not the result of deliberate interaction with a mobile device.

“Google designed and implemented its Android operating system and applications to extract and transmit large volumes of information between complainants 'mobile devices and Google using complainants' mobile data allotments. Google's hijacking of claimants 'mobile data allocations through passive transfers occurs in the background, is not the result of claimants' direct interaction with Google apps and properties on their devices, and occurs without consent. of the complainants, ”says the complaint.

These passive data transfers are done in three different ways.

  • The first occurs when mobile devices are in a complete sleep state (all applications are closed).
  • The second, which transfers a larger volume, occurs when mobile devices are parked and intact, but with one or more applications open and unused.
  • The third, which transfers even more data, occurs when users use their Android, interacting with it, visiting web pages or using applications.

In confirmation of these accusations, an analysis commissioned by the plaintiffs' attorneys conducted a test on a new Samsung Galaxy S7 mobile device while configuring the default standard settings.

The computer connected to a new Google account and did not connect to Wi-Fi. The test result showed that the device, which is in a sleep state, “was sending and receiving 8.88MB per day of data and 94% of these communications are between Google and the device.

The cell phone, with all applications closed, transferred information to and from Google approximately 16 times per hour, which is equivalent to 389 times in 24 hours.

Professor Douglas C. Schmidt's 2018 study of Google's data collection also found that the Android device exchanges information with Google despite the phone being idle. The tech giant is said to transmit passive data about 900 times in 24 hours, an average of 38 times per hour if the Chrome app was open.


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  1.   Joselp said

    The question is ... Is it something that really interests the vast majority of users? Do we have any real alternative that does not send massive data from our mobiles?

    Right now, as a real alternative, there is only / e / OS, because there is also Lineage Os, but I think they do not remove part of the trash that Android has, which connects to Google's servers.

    1. said

      alternatives: pinephone or librem5

      1.    David naranjo said

        It is correct, although I am still waiting for a distributor here in my country, because he did not trust the customs or the messaging system ...