Verizon is Bringing Spyware to its Android Phones

With Congress having cleared the way for U.S. operators to sell your browsing history to advertisers, Verizon is wasting no time, partnering with the developers of the popular Android launcher Evie to bring a new search tool to its customers on that platform. Unlike Evie, this new Verizon app isn’t exactly getting rave reviews. Here’s Cory Doctorow to explain why:

“AppFlash” will come pre-installed on all Verizon Android handsets; it’s a Google search bar replacement, but instead of feeding telemetry about your searches, handset, apps and activities to Google, it will send them to Verizon.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation pored through Verizon’s privacy policy for AppFlash, and found proof that your data will indeed be sold to third parties:

“AppFlash information may be shared within the Verizon family of companies, including companies like AOL who may use it to help provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experience and in other places, including non-Verizon sites, services and devices.”

If you’re an Android user with a Verizon-branded phone, you might want to look into rooting and de-bloating it.

Sources: Android Police, Boing Boing, EFF, The Verge

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