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Verizon to pre-install a 'Spyware' app on its Android phones to collect user data

Verizon to pre-install a 'Spyware' app on its Android phones to collect user data

Mohit Kumar | Hacker News --

If the death of online privacy rules wasn't enough for Internet Service Providers and advertisers to celebrate, Verizon has planned to pre-install spyware on customers' Android devices in order to collect their personal data.

The telecom giant has partnered with Evie Launcher to bring a new application called 'AppFlash' — a universal search bar that will come pre-installed on the home screens of all Verizon Android handsets for quickly finding apps and web content.

AppFlash is simply a Google search bar replacement, but instead of collecting and sending telemetry data including what you search, handset, apps and other online activities to Google, it will send to Verizon.

What's worse? Just like other pre-installed bloatware apps, Android users can't uninstall AppFlash quickly, unless they have rooted their phone.

AppFlash allows you to search inside apps or browse through listings of nearby restaurants and entertainment. The built-in Google Search can also do all these stuff. So, there's nothing this app does that a Google search can’t.

Then what's the need for this app? Of course, selling your data to advertisers or other big data companies and make money — thanks to the US Senate that allowed ISPs to collect and sell your data without permission and banned the FCC from ever passing any rule that would limit these powers.

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