Published: Thu, October 25, 2018
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Google moves to take control of apps shared outside the Play Store

Google moves to take control of apps shared outside the Play Store

According to the report, millions of Android phone owners who downloaded these apps were secretly tracked as they scrolled and clicked inside the apps. In a new study carried out by researchers from Oxford University, it's revealed that nearly 90 percent of free apps on the Google Play store share data with Alphabet.

If you missed the Digital Wellbeing app until now, you should know that Google's new tool aims to provide its users with detailed information on how often they use apps, how many times they check their phone, how many notifications they receive, and so on.

Through these chains, much of this data ended up at major technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Amazon. Researchers at Oxford University looked into 959,000 third-party apps on the Google Play Store in the United Kingdom and U.S. and discovered that 88% of them transfer data to Google parent company Alphabet.

@Google #news #bug need to publicise this Google News App bug on Android that consumes vast amounts of background data overnight.

Having more data on users allows company's like Google to better target their advertising.

Revenues from online advertising earn more than $59bn (£45bn) per year in the United States alone, they said. It goes on to explain how such third-party trackers use first-party mobile applications to link user activity across multiple apps to a single person, along with that person's activity on other devices and elsewhere on the web.

The problem, according to project lead Reuben Binns, is due to most apps being free and relying on advertising to make money.

Responding to the report, Google said: "Across Google and in Google Play we have clear policies and guidelines for how developers and third-party apps can handle data and we require developers to be transparent and ask for user permission". As such, data sharing has become rampant.

The tech giant also took issue with parts of the study, saying that not all data that gets reported is personal information.

"We disagree with the methodology and the findings of this study".

'It [the study] mischaracterises ordinary functional services like crash reporting and analytics, and how apps share data to deliver those services, ' Google said.

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