Eight questions to understand how the pre-installed Android software affects you | Technology

How can I avoid tracking the pre-installed apps on my mobile?

You can not. Unless rootees the telephone, which is an extreme, complex and inadvisable solution. The preinstalled software accompanies the phone from the first day to the last. The chaos that happens there is not all bad, but it is not very transparent. Someone with regulatory capacity or power should start looking carefully.

Why should I worry more?

For the lack of control. The apps that you voluntarily download and start using ask you the permissions you want to give them: do you allow this app to use your camera? Do you want to give access to contacts? Everyone can ask why an app that measures the distance and calories of a bike exercise wants to enter the microphone of the mobile. And you can say no. In pre-installed apps, they rarely ask. It happens

Is it the same on all Android phones?

No. It depends on the type of phone, the user, the country. It depends on so many factors that in an analysis more than 82,000 apps in 1.742 devices from 214 manufacturers in 130 countries does not allow to draw definitive conclusions. It is a recommendation to keep looking.

But a manufacturer does not know the software that is in the mobile that manufactures?

It seems incredible, but no. There are hardware elements that include their own software. The operators that sell appliances add their sauce. Large sellers may want to take advantage of the fact that the mobile passes through their warehouse. And these are certified manufacturers. Then there are hundreds of other manufacturers that use Android and live in the wild west without the law of mobiles.

What if I have an iPhone?

Apple has another operating system. The owners of iPhones live in their world, which is not on the side of tracking, weight is more forcefully controlled. Within the island of Android, the Google Play Store is a closed garden. The App Store is a fortress with snipers on another island in the mobile world.

Is there anything illegal in all that?

The Spanish Agency for Data Protection has sent a note on this investigation "due to the massive impact that its results have on the privacy and protection of personal data of citizens." Now, they say, they are going to "present this study and its conclusions in the working subgroups of the European Committee for Data Protection".

Is there someone who is dedicated to pre-install harmful applications?

In countries with little regulation there have already been published cases of applications that use mobile data to steal money. There are likely to be more cases.


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