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Subject VERIZON TO PRE-INSTALL A ‘SPYWARE’ APP ON ITS ANDROID PHONES TO COLLECT USER DATA
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If the death of online privacy rules wasn’t enough for Internet Service Providers and advertisers to celebrate, Verizon has planned to pre-install spyware on customers’ Android devices in order to collect their personal data.

The telecom giant has partnered with Evie Launcher to bring a new application called ‘AppFlash‘ — a universal search bar that will come pre-installed on the home screens of all Verizon Android handsets for quickly finding apps and web content.

AppFlash is simply a Google search bar replacement, but instead of collecting and sending telemetry data including what you search, handset, apps and other online activities to Google, it will send to Verizon.

What’s worse? Just like other pre-installed bloatware apps, Android users can’t uninstall AppFlash quickly, unless they have rooted their phone.

AppFlash allows you to search inside apps or browse through listings of nearby restaurants and entertainment. The built-in Google Search can also do all these stuff. So, there’s nothing this app does that a Google search can’t.

Then what’s the need for this app? Of course, selling your data to advertisers or other big data companies and make money — thanks to the US Senate that allowed ISPs to collect and sell your data without permission and banned the FCC from ever passing any rule that would limit these powers.

Here’s what the privacy policy of AppFlash reads:

We collect information about your device and your use of the AppFlash services. This information includes your mobile number, device identifiers, device type and operating system, and information about the AppFlash features and services you use and your interactions with them.
We also access information about the list of apps you have on your device. With your permission, AppFlash also collects information about your device’s precise location from your device operating system as well as contact information you store on your device.
AppFlash information may be shared within the Verizon family of companies, including companies like AOL who may use it to help provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places, including non-Verizon sites, services, and devices.
What’s more? There is a ‘Suggested Apps’ section on the AppFlash main screen, which means that those apps have paid Verizon a good price to list on the main screen.
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