Fearing data privacy issues, Google cuts some Android phone data for wireless carriers

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SAN FRANCISCO: Alphabet's Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network ...

SAN FRANCISCO: Alphabet's Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network coverage, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, because of Google's concerns that sharing data from users of its Android phone system might attract the scrutiny of users and regulators.

It used data only from users who had opted into sharing location history and usage and diagnostics with Google. The data were aggregated, meaning they did not explicitly link any information to any individual phone user. It included data relating to a carrier's own service and that of competitors, which were not identified by name.

In April, Google shut down its Video Checkup service from its YouTube operation, which it launched in mid-2017 to let customers in Malaysia compare their provider's streaming capability in a specific spot with other carriers. YouTube spokeswoman Mariana De Felice cited"relatively low user engagement" with Video Checkup for its retirement, which has not been previously reported.

It was an"independent reference from the horse’s mouth, so you couldn't get any better than this," said Mushil Mustafa, a former employee at Dubai-based carrier du."But the carriers have investment in other tools, obviously."


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