Reuters: EU antitrust chief says investigation of Google’s Android, AdSense is advancing

Reuters: EU antitrust chief says investigation of Google’s Android, AdSense is advancing. “Investigations into how Google (GOOGL.O) may be using its Android smartphone operating system and its AdSense advertising service to thwart rivals are advancing, Europe’s antitrust chief said on Wednesday, amid concern about the lengthy proceedings.”

Engadget: Study finds over 3,300 Android apps improperly tracking kids

Engadget: Study finds over 3,300 Android apps improperly tracking kids. “There’s little doubt that mobile apps sometimes overstep their bounds by collecting more data from kids than the law allows. But how often does that happen? It might be more than you think. Researchers using an automated testing process have discovered that 3,337 family- and child-oriented Android apps on Google Play were improperly collecting kids’ data, potentially putting them in violation of the US’ COPPA law (which limits data collection for kids under 13). Only a small number were particularly glaring violations, but many apps exhibited behavior that could easily be seen as questionable.”

TechCrunch: App Store shrank for first time in 2017 thanks to crackdowns on spam, clones and more

TechCrunch: App Store shrank for first time in 2017 thanks to crackdowns on spam, clones and more. “The App Store shrank for the first time in 2017, according to a new report from Appfigures. The report found the App Store lost 5 percent of its total apps over the course of the year, dropping from 2.2 million published iOS apps in the beginning of the year to 2.1 million by year-end. Google Play, meanwhile, grew in 2017 — it was up 30 percent to more than 3.6 million apps.”

National Post: Canadian 9/11 conspiracy theorists sue Google over secret phone tracking

National Post: Canadian 9/11 conspiracy theorists sue Google over secret phone tracking. “The plaintiffs in the massive class action claims against Google are two prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorists and a retired Toronto police detective. Their pair of nearly identical actions, one each in British Columbia and Ontario, ask for $10 million in damages, among other penalties. They allege the tech giant has facilitated the illegal surveillance of thousands of Canadians by ‘hackers or undesirable state actors,’ and wrongly made money by intruding on their privacy. Ultimately, the proposed class of affected people could represent nearly half of Canadian smartphone users — anyone who has used a phone that runs Google’s free operating system, Android, whether the phone is made by Google or not.”

BetaNews: Less than half of Android security apps offer effective protection

BetaNews: Less than half of Android security apps offer effective protection. “A new study from independent testing lab AV-Comparatives reveals that of over 200 Android security apps tested the majority are dubious, unsafe or ineffective. The company downloaded 204 apps from the Google Play store in January this year and found 84 of the apps detected over 30 percent of malicious samples, and had zero false alarms. 79 detected under 30 percent of malware samples and/or had a high false alarm rate.”

Ars Technica: Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones

Ars Technica: Facebook scraped call, text message data for years from Android phones. “Facebook uses phone-contact data as part of its friend recommendation algorithm. And in recent versions of the Messenger application for Android and Facebook Lite devices, a more explicit request is made to users for access to call logs and SMS logs on Android and Facebook Lite devices. But even if users didn’t give that permission to Messenger, they may have given it inadvertently for years through Facebook’s mobile apps—because of the way Android has handled permissions for accessing call logs in the past.”

Google Blog: Read web pages offline with Chrome on Android

Google Blog: Read web pages offline with Chrome on Android. “Last year, we introduced the ability to download any webpage, so you can view the whole page completely offline. More than 45 million web pages are downloaded every week—and today we’re adding improvements to make it even easier to download pages.”