New research shows that Google doesn’t stop tracking users even when they turn off all tracking options in the operating system.
Since technology accompanies us in every moment of our lives, the reality is that our privacy has diminished to levels never seen in the history of our species.
Cameras everywhere, social networks where we appear in more photos than we would like and smartphones that go in our pockets giving information about what we do and where we are.
And, although operating systems allow us to remove all kinds of tracking options, apparently this does not help much. At least as far as the Android operating system is concerned.
Or that is the idea that emerges from a new article by researchers from Trinity College Dublin who have analyzed the data exchange of some popular variants of the Android operating system (Samsung, Xiaomi or realme, among others).
According to the researchers, with little configuration right out of the box and being at rest, smartphones incessantly send device data to operating system developers and to third parties.
And that It is not solved even when we dedicate ourselves to removing the tracking permissions and other tracking options selected by default.
As the researchers point out, much of the blame falls on the system applications, which are pre-installed by the hardware manufacturer in their phones: the camera, the message application, etc.
Android usually packages these applications in what is known as ROM memory, which means that these apps cannot be removed or modified without rooting the device.
The researchers found that Samsung Pass, for example, shared with Google Analytics details such as timestamps detailing when the application was used. and for how long.
The same goes for Samsung’s Game Launcher, and every time Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby, is activated.
And this only on the part of Samsung, since as for Xiaomi, its messaging application was discovered sharing the timestamps of each user interaction with Google Analytics, along with the records of each time the user sent a text.
Huawei’s devices were also caught doing the same. And on devices where Microsoft’s SwiftKey came pre-installed, logs detailing each time the keyboard was used in another application.
As the researchers explain, none of this data alone can identify your phone as unique, but together they form a unique fingerprint that can be used to track your device, even if you try to exclude yourself. Pegasus now looks like a joke.