Google appears to be leveraging its position as the owner of the Android platform as its employs a method that grants itself specific privilege in seeing how non-Google apps interact with users and use such data to improve its own software products, The Information reports.
Dubbed the “Android Lockbox,” the app gathers information such as which non-Google applications are opened and how long they are being used. As per the report, Google seems to extract such data in any instance that users setup their Android devices.
In its defense, Google claimed that such practice is common in the tech industry as it’s something which other developers employ. The idea highlights the use of the Android App Usage Data API which renders “basic data about app usage—such as how often apps are opened—to analyze and improve services.”
Furthermore, the tech giant also claims that the practice is aimed at improving application discovery at the Play Store or as an integral aspect of the Android’s Adaptive Battery feature.
“The API doesn’t obtain any information about in-app activity and our collection of this data is disclosed to and controllable by users,” according to Google spokesperson.