The Verge: Google remotely changed the settings on a bunch of phones running Android 9 Pie. “Yesterday a mix of people who own Google Pixel phones and other devices running Android 9 Pie noticed that the software’s Battery Saver feature had been switched on — seemingly all by itself. And oddly, this was happening when the phones were near a full charge, not when the battery was low. As reported by Android Police, initially it was assumed that this was some kind of minor bug in the latest version of Android, which was only released a few weeks ago. Some users thought they might’ve just enabled Battery Saver without realizing. But it was actually Google at fault.”
Ars Technica: Dozens of iOS apps surreptitiously share user location data with tracking firms. “During preparation for a workshop at DEF CON in August on locating privacy leaks in network traffic, we discovered a number of applications on both iOS and Android that were broadcasting precise location data back to the applications’ developers—in some cases in unencrypted formats. Research released late Friday by Sudo Security’s Guardian mobile firewall team provided some confirmation to our findings—and demonstrated that many apps are sharing location data with firms that market location data information without the users’ knowledge.”
Ars Technica: Fortnite’s Android vulnerability leads to Google/Epic Games spat. “Epic Games’ popular shooter Fortnite has been out on Android for just a few weeks, and already there are concrete examples of some of the security fears brought about by the game’s unique distribution method. Google disclosed a vulnerability in the Fortnite Installer that could trick the installer into installing something other than Fortnite.”
eWeek: Google Removes 145 Malware-Laden Apps From Play Store. “Google has removed 145 Android applications from its Play mobile app store after a security vendor discovered them to be infected with malware for stealing data from Windows computers.”
Gizmodo: A Guide To Using Android Without Selling Your Soul To Google. “As soon as you start up a new Android phone, you get prompted to sign in with your Google account — but what if you don’t want to do that? Maybe you want to take advantage of Android but limit what Google knows about you, or maybe you just prefer the alternative apps; whatever the case, here’s how to live a Google-free Android life.”
Bloomberg: The Story Behind Google’s Secret Offer to Settle EU’s Android Probe. “European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager coolly hit Google with a 4.3 billion-euro ($5 billion) fine last week, the biggest penalty in the history of antitrust enforcement. It didn’t have to be that way.”
Scottish Legal News: Google fined record €4.3 bn for breaching EU antitrust rules. “The European Commission has fined Google €4.34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules by imposing illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators, since 2011, to cement its dominant position as the leading internet search engine.” 4.34 billion euros is just over five billion US dollars.