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Google says it was just experimental

Thanks to the removal of a certain feature, Android users may have to consider which is more important to them: privacy or security.
 
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Google removed the App Ops feature from Android 4.4.2, the latest version of the mobile operating system. App Ops allowed Android users to prevent apps from collecting their personal information. 
 
The App Ops privacy feature was made available in Android 4.3, but users who have updated to the latest version of the OS noticed that it's gone missing.
 
According to Google, App Ops was experimental and wasn't meant to be released in 4.3. It further said that its inclusion in 4.3 was accidental. 
 
But the EFF isn't buying this excuse, and is now questioning Google's priorities when it comes to privacy. 


"When asked for comment, Google told us that the feature had only ever been released by accident — that it was experimental, and that it could break some of the apps policed by it. We are suspicious of this explanation, and do not think that it in any way justifies removing the feature rather than improving it. Many instances of apps 'breaking' when they are denied the ability to collect data like a location or an address book or an IMEI number can easily be fixed by, for instance, giving them back a fake location, an empty address book, or an IMEI number of all zeroes," wrote the EFF. 
 
"The disappearance of App Ops is alarming news for Android users. The fact that they cannot turn off app permissions is a Stygian hole in the Android security model, and a billion people's data is being sucked through. Embarrassingly, it is also one that Apple managed to fix in iOS years ago."
 
Android users can choose to stick with 4.3 if they want to hold onto App Ops, but failing to update to the latest version of the OS could mean not receiving the most recent security updates. 

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation





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