Another day and another big announement, this day it’s hitting Android, well more the Dialer apps which you might use daily, the problem is sometimes you can’t even opt-out and you’re more or less forces to use the integrated Dialers, uninstalling them might not be possible without rooting your phone – and that’s the big thing here you can’t do much except to install another more privat friendly dialers and hope it doesn’t collect any data.
Award Winning Apps like TrueCaller & Contacts+ affected among many others
Gkbrk (what a name for a page) explains in his original post that all tested Dialer collecting data, in some cases Dialers like TrueCaller come pre-installed on the device which made it almost impossible to escape without rooting the phone or to install another app (the original installed app then maybe still runs in the background).
What the article doesn’t tell
Gkbrk doesn’t tell us anything about the reverse functions or how the apps really working, most of them, including TrueCaller also having backup functions, reverse functions and many more which are depending on internet, most of the apps I see have a toggle to turn it off and then it’s really off because the permission simple gets revoked or not allowed in the first place, depending on which Android OS you use this works more or less without much troubles.
The article comes to wrong conclusion because it only wants to see what it wants to see and is only half of the truth. It is true that there some connections but that doesn’t mean automatically that this is abused or not in a closer relationship with the App license, maybe read such licenses before you install apps however, I get the point that some apps are pre-installed and that’s a bigger thread but from my experience you can revoke the permissions manually at any time (tested with Android 7+/8) – of course not everyone gets the latest Android Version but a workaround to solve this would be to work with VPN related filtering and blocking apps eg. NetGuard.
Privacy is hard and people very often coming to the wrong conclusion, I remember the latest Vivaldi story, it was a very similar someone simply couldn’t read and there was much attention for nothing.
To make a complaint is always easy but to dig deeper is hard and requires a lot of effort, research and background knowledge and it’s often more complex than it looks at first.
Google started recently to banish over 700k apps and restrict the rules even more so that app developers are forced to check their apps from time to time to fit with their latest privacy guidelines. A small step but better than nothing, no Store is perfect and maybe never will be, especially not such a big one with over millions of millions app in it.