Oracle claims Google exfiltrates 1GB of data from Android phones every month

The experts, from computer and software corporation Oracle, claim Google is draining roughly one gigabyte of mobile data monthly from Android phone users' accounts as it snoops in the background, collecting information to help advertisers. With one gigabyte of data costing as much as A$4.25 and over 10 million Android devices in Australia.

The Oracle experts say phone owners' data ends up being consumed even if Google Maps is not in use or aeroplane mode is switched on.

"The Google Play app store has a reputation as the safest place online to get Android apps", wrote Symantec's Martin Zhang, principle software engineer, and Shaun Aimoto, technical product owner, in a blogpost, adding: "And Google does a good job of advising users to limit exposure to malware and other risks by configuring their phones to forbid side-loading and alternative app markets in the Android Settings".

According to Australia's Daily Telegraph, ACCC chairman Rod Sims has been briefed by Oracle representatives, who made the claims. Nor will removing the SIM card stop it from happening.

It is also quite alarming that the Oracle researchers seem to believe that the tech giant Google has been also including barometric pressure readings in its log. By combining this with your coordinates Google knows which shops you have visited.

The apps, once installed, take measures to stay on the device, disappear and wipe their tracks, including waiting for hours before launching malicious activity to avoid arousing suspicion and requesting admin privileges - using the Google Play icon when doing so to feign legitimacy. Last month Google had confirmed the list of smartphones that featured this functionality and it included four versions of Google's Pixel phones - Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL - and the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Sims told The Australian he found the Oracle presentation "very interesting" and will follow up. "The more we get into this inquiry the more we realise there are lots of issues (around) competition and privacy", he said.

While in Australia the Oracle experts have also shown their findings to some journalists. Location sharing was also said to be an opt-in. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.

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