One of the privacy control features that had previously been available on smartphones has been removed.
It has just been revealed that Google Inc. has decided to eliminate an experimental Android mobile security feature meant to help users to be able to boost their privacy levels by blocking apps from being able to collect some forms of their data, such as their location and the contents of their address books.
This change will mean that smartphone users of version 4.4.2 of the operating system will not be able to block that sharing.
In order to be able to use certain apps, users will no longer be able to rely on the Android mobile security blocking to stop their personal data from being collected. According to a Google spokesperson, the feature had accidentally been included in the Android 4.3 version (Jelly Bean) that was released last summer.
Many have expressed suspicion concerning the explanation about the removal of the Android mobile security feature.
While some have accepted Google’s explanation and are not bothered by the removal of the privacy tool, others are suspicious and don’t feel that the elimination of the feature was the best move when improvement would have been a superior path.
The concern that has now been expressed is that users of smartphones based on the operating system can choose not to upgrade to Android 4.4.2, but this could place them at an increased risk of other types of vulnerabilities that were overcome by the upgrade. This will cause people to have to make the choice between two different types of protection for their devices.
Many third party apps for these smartphones require personal information access, such as location data and phone call information, in order to be used, despite the fact that there is not always an obvious reason why the application would require this data in order to function. The added privacy feature gave users the ability to select which types of data could be collected by a third party application.
Now, the Android mobile security feature providing that ability will no longer be available to users who upgrade to the latest version of the operating system.