EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.10.13

Forget Camera Gimmicks; Google Should Add Legitimate Encryption and Improve Privacy in Android

Posted in GNU/Linux at 7:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A call for Android developers to take privacy more seriously and not turn users of Android devices into products

In terms of privacy, Nexus is a scary thing and it keeps getting scarier over time. Google remotely modifies it without the user’s consent and with each modification it does less and less to respect privacy, installing yet more privacy-infringing software (without consent) and changing the settings to silently give away more personal information.

CyanogenMod is adding encrypted text messaging [1,2], beating Google to it if Google ever plans to support such a feature at all. To be fair to Google, it does share source code [3,4] and this enables forking, but why not make Android freedom-respecting and privacy-respecting by default? The values of Linux and Free software include privacy. There are many articles right now about rogue apps that get too much access to location [5] — something which Google got wrong and continues to get wrong every time automatic update kicks in and overrides settings. Yes, Google is ‘upgrading’ my tablet without my consent and then does all sorts of privacy-infringing things. I regret to say that Google does this. Some people manually ‘upgrade’ to 4.4 [6], but when it comes to Nexus 7, the user is just asked to reboot (after a silent ‘upgrade’), whereupon settings change a little, and silently so. Google says it wants to improve the camera [7,8], but based on some writings on the Web, Google actually cripples it with the ‘upgrade’ and it continues to pose privacy issues (like embedding location data in images or automatically uploading images in the background).

Android is inspiring and helping to build many Linux devices these days [9,10], so we need to keep Google in check and ensure it does not deviate further in the direction of “evil”. With each automatic ‘upgrade’ of my tablet it seems to be getting a lot more like Orwell’s fears.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. CyanogenMod rolls out encrypted text messaging by default
  2. CyanogenMod Android firmware gains built-in SMS encryption
  3. Motorola Releases Open Source Kernel Files For The Moto G
  4. Moto G Goes Open Source
  5. Millions of Android users ‘deceived’ by flashlight app that shares location with advertisers

    An Android developer has agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over a free flashlight app that has been “deceiving” users.

  6. How to update Nexus 5 to Android 4.4.1 from Gnu/Linux
  7. Fixing the Nexus 5: with a new version of Android, Google tackles the camera
  8. Android 4.4.1 arrives to improve Nexus 5 Camera; download now
  9. Marvell SoC targets Jelly Bean-ready Google TV

    Marvell unveiled a more secure, graphics-rich Armada 1500 Plus SoC for Android 4.2.2 smart TVs “with Google services,” but never mentioned Google TV.

  10. Customizable Android tablet is MIL-SPEC rugged
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  2. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  3. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  4. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  5. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  6. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  7. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  8. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  9. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  10. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  11. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  12. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  14. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  15. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  16. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  19. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  20. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  21. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  22. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  23. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  24. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  25. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  26. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  27. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  28. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  29. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  30. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts