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Google tightens grip on some Android data over privacy fears, report says

August 19, 2019

The search giant ends a program that provided network coverage data to wireless carriers.

BY CARRIE MIHALCIK
AUGUST 19, 2019 8:49 AM PDT

Google is apparently tightening its grip on some Android data. The search giant shut down its Mobile Network Insights service, which provided wireless carriers with data on signal strengths and connection speeds in their coverage areas, according to Reuters.

Google reportedly decided to shutter the program over concerns that sharing this Android data could draw further scrutiny from users and regulators.

Google on Monday confirmed that it shut down the program but didn’t provide further details.

“We worked on a program to help mobile partners improve their networks through aggregated and anonymized performance metrics. Due to changing product priorities, we decided to end it,” a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement Monday. “We remain committed to improving network performance across our apps and services for users.”

Google, and other big tech companies, have come under increased scrutiny over how they handle users’ data as well as potentially anticompetitive practices. Last year, Google faced a wave of backlash over its collection of location data even when users turned off location services. The company has since introduced an autodelete feature for location, app and web history.

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