‘Delete Google Chrome on your phone’: Privacy Invasion Alarm for Mobile Phone Users

QUICK FACTS:
  • According to a new Forbes article, mobile phone users who have Chrome installed on their phone face significant privacy risks, and users should uninstall the mobile browser from their phone, reports The Blaze.
  • The analysis shows Google’s data collection tactics are significantly more intrusive and extensive than Facebook’s, and Google’s data is shared with third parties more broadly without your permission.
  • A Google spokesperson stated that while users can now opt out of sharing their location data, location sharing is still enabled by default, and that even if you go into your phone and try to turn it off, your phone will display a warning to try to persuade you otherwise.
  • According to the report: “Chrome is isolated as the only major browser that has not yet acted to stop cross-site tracking, the only browser (illustrated by Apple’s privacy labels when used on iOS) that collects vast amounts of data, all of which link back to user identities, the only major browser that pushed out FLoC, despite numerous privacy warnings. On Android, you can delete Chrome from by disabling the stock browser in your settings.”
THE BLAZE REPORTS:

Last month, it was revealed that the Facebook app on your iPhone continues to track your location data on your phone even if you have specifically set your iPhone to “never” allow location tracking data, and that there is no way to avoid this other than deleting the Facebook app from your phone. Now, according to Forbes’ cybersecurity reporter Zak Doffman, it has been revealed that what Google is doing is actually even worse.

Reportedly, while Apple has changed their privacy practices to require you to grant permission to third party apps to track your location data, Android users and users who have Chrome installed on their phone are having their location data gathered by default – even when browsing is set to private or incognito mode. Even worse, while Facebook was collecting this data for its own uses, Google makes this highly sensitive location data “available to any site that asks—by default.”

Your phone collects this data by using what is known as the accelerometer on your phone — a component that allows navigation apps like maps and Waze to function and provides a valuable service to drivers who increasingly use their phones as navigation devices, particularly in large cities. The accelerometer measures the orientation and linear distance traveled by your phone. While many users depend on these services, it was revealed that mobile browsers were allowing sites to access your phone’s accelerometer data without permission, which led iPhone to implement security measures in 2019 that would prevent third-party sites from accessing this data without the user’s permission, which would have to be granted by an affirmative choice.