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Google admits to altering settings remotely on Android phones

Recently, Android users running 9.0 Pie have noticed that even though they had switched off the battery-saving function that it was back up and running, seemingly on its own. Most noted that on top of the feature running on its own, the phones were even at full power. Google hadn’t notified users of any changes due to occur, so what happened exactly?

Google admits fault

According to an answer by Google’s Pixel team on a Reddit post, it was caused by an internal experiment. Google was testing battery-saving features and accidentally turned it on for quite a few more users than they had intended. Google said that they had reversed the action and that users were again able to reconfigure their phones to the previous settings.

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Pandora’s box

Even with the problem apparently solved, many Android users were still concerned about the incident, with a lot of people asking the big question; if Google is able to access battery power remotely, what else do they have access to? Is there reason to worry about the privacy of other information stored on mobile devices?

On a support page for updating Android apps, it says: “If Google determines an app update will fix a critical security vulnerability, we may make certain app updates regardless of update settings in the app or on your device”. Google then goes on by including that, relating to Google Play, if you agree to the terms of service you are also agreeing to receive updates automatically. They don’t specify what those updates are outside of bug fixes, enhanced functions, and new versions of some apps; only that some of them are necessary in order to continue to run apps smoothly and download new content.

Well, at least the battery-saving problem has been solved.

 

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