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Governments can use cell phone push notifications to spy


Democratic Party Senator Ron Wyden, who sits on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the Attorney General requesting that the Department of Justice (DoJ) allow Apple and Google to disclose details of secret data requests stored on smartphones made by the American government.

Requests to access push notifications from iOS and Android devices have been kept secret until now due to DoJ rules, but Wyden, in asking companies to disclose details of the requests, maintains that they could be used by authorities or governments to spy. people.

As gatekeepers of app push notifications to their users, Apple and Google ensure the “timely and efficient” delivery of such messages, Wyden said. “But it also means they can be secretly compelled by foreign governments to reveal this information.”

According to the senator’s letter, which was sent to the attorney general, it was first reported by the agency Reuters, his office received a tip in the spring of last year about how foreign governments were requesting push notification data from companies like Apple and Google. “Consequently, Apple and Google are in a unique position to facilitate government surveillance of how users are using specific apps,” Wyden added.

Typically, a third-party developer retains the data associated with users’ accounts in any application released through the App Store, Google Play, or other mobile application stores. However, data sent to users’ phones through push notifications typically passes through Apple and Google, meaning those companies have access to any data sent through these notifications.

Wyden said his office tried to find out more about Apple and Google, but was told by company officials that information about push notification data was “restricted from public release by the government.”

It is worth remembering for users who are concerned about the information that may be collected about them through push notifications that simply access the settings of their iPhone or Android device and disable these notifications.


Source: CisoAdvisor

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