Google is obviously no stranger to being put under the spotlight, the most common reason being its alleged antitrust and privacy issues with governments the world over. Now, word has surfaced that the search engine has been collecting user data through a special internal program.
The report, which originates from The Information, says that Google runs a program known as Android Lockbox and what it does is allow the company to collect information on apps and services that aren’t made by Google. Along with consumer’s usage patterns and habits with them; this includes the number of times the app is used, as well as time spent on it. For context, third party and non-Google services include apps such as TikTok, Facebook, and Snapchat.
The information is then sifted through a dedicated team Google has dubbed the “Magic Eye”, who in turn use that information to give executives something of a holistic view of user engagement on those apps. In the event said executives decide to acquire the developer behind those apps.
Not surprising, Google doesn’t seem phased or concerned about Android Lockbox, saying that its actions in monitoring third-party and rival apps is done with the aim of improving battery life on an Android device, tuning the Google Play search algorithm, and to run Digital Wellbeing features more efficiently.
Google, along with other tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, are set to appear before the US Congress to testify over several issues.
(Source: The Information via Techspot)