Google has frequently found itself drawing criticism for its privacy policies, something that Microsoft has been particularly keen to highlight with its Scroogled campaign. As users come to rely on mobile devices in ever-greater numbers – and with Android dominating the smartphone market – concerns are increasingly being raised about the privacy policies that Google adopts on its mobile OS.
Earlier this week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – a non-profit organisation campaigning for improved digital rights for users – published an article entitled ‘Awesome Privacy Tools in Android 4.3+’, in which it praised Google for introducing greatly improved and more granular options to give users more control over what data could be accessed and used by apps installed on their devices. In that article, the EFF’s Peter Eckersley wrote:
"To date, there has been no way to run apps on Android with real and reliable privacy controls. Android version 4.3 and higher take [sic] a huge step in the right direction, letting users install apps while denying some of the apps’ attempts to collect the user’s data.”
That praise did not last long. The next day, Eckersley published a follow-up article, noting that Google had removed those ‘App Ops’ tools completely in the latest OS release, Android 4.4.2, which is currently rolling out to its newer Nexus devices.
Microsoft® Windows Insider MVP - Windows Security
Sounds like Google, once having made a great step forward, is now taking two steps back leaving us at best where we were before as consumers. Tsk Tsk!
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