Google shuts down Android data programme over privacy fears

Google Stops Sharing Some Android Phone Data With Telecom Operators Over Privacy Fears

Google Stops Sharing Some Android Phone Data With Telecom Operators Over Privacy Fears

This was collected by Google anonymously.

Google launched Mobile Network Insights was launched back in 2017 and used anonymised, aggregated data from Android users to create coverage maps that were used by operators to prioritise network expansions and upgrades. But the company has still been prone to some mishaps, like logging user's purchase history in Gmail and collecting location data even when users opt out of sharing location history.

The main concern for Google was the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) past year, which bars companies from sharing users' personal data with third parties unless they explicitly consent to it or there is a legitimate business reason to do so. "It included data relating to a carrier's own service and that of competitors, which were not identified by name", according to the Reuters report. The reason why Google shuts down the service may be that sharing user-generated data from Android users' phones can cause company regulators to get into trouble by inviting them to talk.

"We worked on a program to help mobile partners improve their networks through aggregated and anonymized performance metrics", Keough said. We're constantly working to improve the network performance of our services for apps and users.

The service was launched by Google in March 2017.

Other services, such as OpenSignal and RootMetrics, also provide independent data on how a network behaves in both a real-life situation and in controlled testing.

Germany's Bayer sells Animal Health unit for $7.6 bn
It develops and markets innovative products and solutions to prevent and treat diseases in companion and farm animals. It is expected to close in mid-2020 subject to approval by antitrust authorities.

USA and European lawmakers have stepped up their focus on how tech companies treat user data after a series of large-scale data security failures and the revelation that Facebook Inc improperly shared data on 87 million of its users with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Google shut down the service in April, four people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Facebook has begun reviewing data deals with app developers and the four big USA wireless carriers recently stopped selling data on customers' real-time locations to marketers and other firms.

In recent years, Google has made a push to put its customer's privacy first, rolling out features to erase your search and usage data and making changes to privacy and permission settings in Android Q, for instance. It was used to indicate where the company's network coverage is poor.

Companies often are not explicit about their data sharing. The Mobile Network Insights was offered by Google for free and as majority of the smartphone users are on Android, this data was important for telcos to improve their services and boost connectivity in weak spots. Wireless carriers had not been specifically mentioned as recipients. Like Google, Facebook said this service does not link data with specific individuals.

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