For some time now we have lived revelations that show how government agencies and companies use our data, sometimes obtained in unclear ways, for their own benefit, without many times the user being aware of the use made of your personal information.
Disclosures such as PRISM or cases such as Cambridge Analytica have made us begin to be aware of the problems that loom over us if we do not begin to take care of what data we provide and demand our right to privacy. This problem is exacerbated in the Android environment, in which it is the almighty Google who manages every aspect of our device.
Abuse in data collection
Large companies such as Google have a huge capacity to capture data from their users, each of the data they capture may seem innocent, the problem is that all that data comes together to create a tremendously detailed profile of its users.
These types of profiles may seem useful at first sights, such as Google guessing where we want to go because we have taken a plane or train ticket and received the receipt in our Gmail mail. Or the recent ability to view our purchase history in our Google account. But the reality behind these data is that Google reads our emails and obtains personal information from them for later exploitation.
Everything is worse on Android
The ability to obtain data from Google skyrockets exponentially in the case of the Android ecosystem, since to all the previous data you can add our daily habits, places we visit, applications we use, … to the point where it becomes the Great brother of our lives.
As we have said before, this in itself is not a problem, that Google obtains that data does not imply that it uses it for anything other than its advertising profiles, but the mere existence of that data and the capacity they grant to a third party Whether it’s a Google employee or a hacker accessing our lives is something we should worry about. Someone who accesses Google data will know when we are at home, when we are at work or what trip we have planned.
Commitment between functionality and privacy
Getting rid of this surveillance completely in an Android environment is practically impossible, but it is possible to reduce the ability of Android to obtain data from our lives, for this it is possible to make a series of changes in our habits, each change will give us a degree of more privacy, it is up to each user to seek the compromise between security and privacy:
- Use an alternative search engine, there are search engines like DuckDuckGo that ensure you protect the privacy in the android, users who use them.
- Using another email, contacts or calendar provider, it is necessary to be aware that a free service will always get something in return.
- Do not link the phone with our real Google identity, if we use a second account for the Google phone you will not be able to link our data.
- Use a browser that does not save records and access the data via the web whenever possible, since applications run services that serve to record our activity.
Not everything is Google
As PRISM revealed, manufacturers introduce backdoors that are used by government agencies, this does not happen exclusively on our phones, but on the internet equipment of the internet provider. These internet providers also access the content of our communications. In both cases, it is advisable to use a good VPN connection to ensure the integrity of the data and prevent third parties from accessing its content.
For a while we have exchanged our privacy for the promise of a free service, users are increasingly aware that this data may pose a threat to their privacy and security. In the case of Google, the problem is worsened by its presence on Android, following the advice in this article we can reduce the footprint of data we leave on the Internet.