Google has been collecting data from Android devices and sending the information to its servers each time a call or message is sent or received, Douglas J. Leith, a professor at Trinity College Dublin, reveals in a research paper, “What Data Do The Google Dialer and Messages Apps On Android Send to Google?”
“When an SMS message is sent/received the Google Messages app sends a message to Google servers recording this event, the time when the message was sent/received and a truncated SHA256 hash of the message text,” he writes. “The latter hash acts to uniquely identify the text message. The message sender’s phone number is also sent to Google, so by combining data from handsets exchanging messages the phone numbers of both are revealed.”
The study, states MediaPost, focuses on technical aspects of privacy rather than legal ones like GDPR and reports on measurements of the data sent to Google by the Google Messages and Google Dialer apps on an Android handset.
Researchers found that the apps tell Google when messages and phone calls are made and received.
Android devices run on the Android operating system (OS) developed by Google.