More than 50 international human rights organizations, including Privacy International, Amnesty International, and Electronic Frontier Foundation, sent an open letter to Sundar Pichai, chairman of Google’s Alphabet holding company, to review the current practice of using apps pre-installed on devices running OC Android, which Google is developing.
The short letter indicates that there are apps pre-installed on Android devices that a normal user cannot uninstall. Such programs endanger the privacy of users: their data may be secretly collected and transferred to third parties.
The letter’s authors refer to a study by experts from the United States and Spain, according to which 91% of apps pre-installed on Android devices are not in the Google Play Store, reports TASS. This means that these programs may not meet the security requirements that apply to programs before they are placed on Google Play. Pre-installed applications may access the location, microphone or camera of the device without the knowledge of the user.
In this regard, the authors of the letter asked Pichai to provide users of Android devices with the ability to completely remove pre-installed applications. Human rights activists are also calling for the creation of a mechanism to update pre-installed software and to subject these applications to the same scrutiny as programs intended for placement on Google Play.
Remember that last December, Google Co-founders, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, left the management of the parent company Alphabet. Then the CEO of the search engine Sundar Pichai became the sole manager of the two companies.
In July 2020, a law on the compulsory installation of Russian applications on smartphones and PCs should enter force in Russia. The list of these devices and programs has not yet been established, and electronics manufacturers and sellers have repeatedly criticized this initiative.