[German]It seems that Google has established a surveillance function for Android phones. They are claiming the right, to collect and store meta data from incoming/outgoing phone calls and SMS from Android smartphones.
Information we get from your use of our services. We collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you watch a video on YouTube, visit a website that uses our advertising services, or view and interact with our ads and content. This information includes:
- Device informationWe collect device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information including phone number). Google may associate your device identifiers or phone number with your Google Account.
- Log informationWhen you use our services or view content provided by Google, we automatically collect and store certain information in server logs. This includes:
- details of how you used our service, such as your search queries.
- telephony log information like your phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls.
- Internet protocol address.
- device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL.
- cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Google Account.
I've highlighted the paragraph in bold: Google claims the right, to log information like your phone number, date and time of calls, duration and also SMS routing information. A German site mobilsicher.de has tested it – during each phone call, Android tries to connect to a Google server.
Such meta data are also collected by governmental surveillance programs. This kind of meta data is perfect to create user profiles – and will has been used by US military in drone killing operation. And you don't have a possibility to opt-out from Google's data collection approach for Android phones – in my view a no go. Time to drop my Android phone. What's your opinion?
Update: Since this post made it to Hacker News, a longer discussion went on. Also the owner of German site mobilesicher.de informed me that the interview with Peter Schar, former German federal commissioner for data security. Peter Schar as severe doubts that this practice is legal and asks for the EU commission to step in immediately. The full interview (in English) may be read here. Thanks Matthias Spielkamp for the link.
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