• Google Has Been Sharing Your Data with Carriers

    An exclusive report from Reuters this morning reveals that for the past two years Google was offering anonymized user data to carriers around the world. The good news is that they've stopped; the bad news is that they did it at all, especially without their users' express consent.

    From the source:

    Google’s Mobile Network Insights service, which had launched in March 2017, was essentially a map showing carriers signal strengths and connection speeds they were delivering in each area.

    The service was provided free to carriers and vendors that helped them manage operations. The data came from devices running Google’s Android operating system, which is on about 75% of the world’s smartphones, making it a valuable resource for the industry.

    It used data only from users who had opted into sharing location history and usage and diagnostics with Google. The data were aggregated, meaning they did not explicitly link any information to any individual phone user. It included data relating to a carrier’s own service and that of competitors, which were not identified by name.

    Nevertheless, Google shut down the service in April due to concerns about data privacy, four people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
    For the record, Facebook still offers a similar service to carriers, and in the USA carriers themselves have only recently stopped selling customer location data to third parties.

    Source: Reuters via reddit
    Image source: Android Police

    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Google Has Been Sharing Your Data with Carriers started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. zapjb's Avatar
      zapjb -
      Isn't anonymized just a big yawn comparatively speaking?
    1. cyberstoic's Avatar
      cyberstoic -
      It has been studied and shown that “anonymized “ data can be used with other information to identify individuals with alarming accuracy. Google is disgusting. Privacy is not taking my data and Selling it to the highest bidder , it is me not allowing them to have it period.
    1. DRNewcomb's Avatar
      DRNewcomb -
      One more good reason to opt out of everything and never allow the Facebook app on any device.
    1. mikethaler's Avatar
      mikethaler -
      I don't care about Google knowing where I am. I actually share location setting w. wife (and vice versa) so we now where each other is. Google does remind us, every month or two, that data is being shared.