Google has come under fire after revelations that Android smartphones still collect the user’s location data and sends it back to the firm – even when the phone’s location services used for apps has been switched off.
The system works by gathering information from nearby mobile phone masts and sharing the information with Google. The data can be used to calculate the user’s position.
The practice cannot be disabled.
A privacy advocate told a news website that the findings are a ‘betrayal’ of Android phone users.
The issue is with Google Play Services running in the background since this is required to access search functions and has been installed on most Android smartphones.
In response, Google says it does not retain the information though it has been collecting data for 11 months and its Android system will be updated shortly to stop the practice.
App helps turn phone into a ‘sonar’ detector
Biometric voice authentication has taken a step forward with a mouth app that turns a user’s smartphone into a ‘sonar’ detector.
The security app will check that the lip movement being monitored really is the phone’s owner speaking.
The app then enables the user’s voice to be recognised as a password for using other apps.
However, critics say it might be vulnerable to ‘replay’ attacks should an identity thief use a recording of the user’s voice.
In a bid to overcome this issue, the app will detect whether someone is using the phone ‘live’ or is misusing a recording.
The VoiceGesture app could, say its creators, help make smartphones more secure and Google is already said to be reviewing the technology which has been created by researchers at State University of Florida.
They say the app can also be extended to include various voice assists including Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Mobile gaming apps take-off in Asia-Pacific
There’s been a huge growth in mobile gaming users in the Asia Pacific region, according to research.
The findings from AppsFlyer and eMarketer point to mobile gaming becoming increasingly important for marketers in the region with the apps delivering strong revenues and audiences.
The researchers at AppsFlyer found that in 40 countries, there are 1,300 apps to choose from and 95 million apps have been installed to generate $150 million of revenue.
Meanwhile, a report from eMarketer is forecasting that around 55% of Chinese Internet users will be playing digital games by the end of this year which equates to 420 million people.
Also, they say that 54% of mobile phone users will be using a gaming app at least once a month.
EU privacy regulators to discuss Uber
The EU’s privacy regulators are to meet to discuss the massive Uber app hack.
The move follows last year’s data breach which saw the personal data from 57 million accounts being exposed.
Now, the regulators are to discuss creating a task force from various EU countries for undertaking the investigation.
The stolen data included the names, mobile phone numbers and email addresses of Uber users around the world and the firm says it paid hackers $100,000 to keep the data breach secret.
News of the data breach of its app only came after senior management were replaced.
In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …
Microsoft has revealed that it has pulled its Skype app from China’s Android and Apple app stores. Apple has also removed several Internet phone call apps after being informed that they did not comply with local laws.
Cyclists in the UK could benefit from a new app that will warn them of potholes in the road ahead. Using smart lights and Bluetooth technology, the lights will detect imperfections and alert the cyclist with data collected via Bluetooth of cyclists avoiding spots on the road to help create a virtual map of Manchester’s roads where the trial is underway.
Newcastle University has created an app that will help protect ancient rock art in Northumberland. Researchers say that the ‘cup and ring’ marks are under threat from climate change and agriculture. The app will help pinpoint the sites so users can add information about its surroundings and conditions.