Tech Experts Criticize Google Android’s Privacy, Advocate For Consumer Data Payment

Tech experts point to privacy concerns with Google’s Android smartphones, which have sensors that track not only user locations but also movement throughout the day.

Mike Davis of the Internet Accountability Project tries to get tech companies that collect and sell data to pay consumers for that information.

“With Apple, they sell you hardware. You buy an iPhone at a higher price than the Android phone. But with the Android phone, Google doesn’t really care about making money with the phone as much as it does. “in cares. earn money out of users as a commodity,” Davis said.

He added that Google makes consumers the commodity they then sell to advertisers.

“I don’t think people understand how much of their personal data they’re giving out, second per second of their movements over the course of a day,” Davis said. “People think Google search is great because it’s free, Gmail because it’s free, Google Maps is great because it’s free, but Google hasn’t become a trillion monopoly. dollars by handing out gifts all day long. This data is very valuable. “

State attorneys general are planning another lawsuit against Google, this one involving the Android search and advertising giant’s Play Store, according to two sources familiar with the matter. (AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

An executive at a tech company noted that Google’s definition of its “delete” function on androids indicates that the tech giant securely deletes data “or” the company keeps the information in an anonymized form. .

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While data privacy concerns aren’t new to smartphones, the extent of data Google collects from Android users is immense, according to the tech manager; in a single day, devices know when users wake up, walk around, get in a car or train, ride a bike, sit down and fall asleep.

Google uses this information to serve targeted advertisements to users. For example, if an Android user rides a bicycle frequently, they may receive advertisements for bicycle equipment.

Although this data collection is anonymous, the computer software expert noted that over time and after collecting a significant amount of information, this data is no longer anonymous, which means that the daily routine of ‘a person ultimately excludes all other people besides himself.

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While some people may not be concerned about the prospect of sharing personal information in exchange for targeted ads that show them exactly what they want to buy when they want to buy it, it can be a slippery slope. The tech expert suggested that there may be a time in the future when tech giants can use consumer data in ways people don’t expect.

Close-up of an unrecognizable person installing the Instagram app from Google Play Store on a Lenovo A916 Android smartphone. Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app owned by Facebook. (iStock)

What’s more, there’s also a public health issue when all the incentives for big tech companies are to get consumers to get addicted to a product, another tech expert explained. The hundreds of targeted ads that people see on social media all day make consumers buy things with just a few clicks.

Google brings in $ 150 billion a year from the user data it collects, and advocates are pushing for Google and other tech companies that collect and sell similar information to pay consumers for their data the same way they do. members of frequent flyer grocery stores get discounts for what they buy. Software experts have likened selling data to transporting your own phone number between different devices.

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The issue of selling data as personal property has received bipartisan support from members of Congress, attorneys general, and governors, but critics of data selling ideas say individual data does not belong to anyone; neither consumers, nor Google, nor anyone.

“Treating data as if it were property does not recognize the value that varieties of personal information serve or the continued interest that individuals have in their personal information, even if they choose to have it.” sell “”, Cameron Kerry and John Morris, Jr., senior fellows covering technology at the Brookings Institute, wrote. “Data is not a commodity. It is information.”

Kerry and Morris conclude that privacy legislation should make it easier for consumers to know, correct, and delete personal information used by technology companies. Requiring individuals to have control over their own data, they argued, “will not do enough to change a system that makes individuals fail …”


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