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Google Power Privacy The Courts

Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims 175

Posted by Soulskill
from the discovery-will-be-powered-by-bing dept.
Jason Koebler writes: According to plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Google, personal information about you and your browsing, email, and app-using habits that is regularly sent between apps on you Android phone is harming your battery life. As odd as it sounds, this minor yet demonstrable harm is what will allow their lawsuit to go forward. A federal judge ruled that the claim "requires a heavily and inherently fact-bound inquiry." That means there's a good chance we're about to get a look into the ins and outs of Google's advertising backbone: what information is shared with whom, and when.
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Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

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  • ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @05:31AM (#47513953)

    Ads are also draining my battery...

    • Re:ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by martin-boundary (547041) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:18AM (#47514247)
      MUCH more importantly, though, ads are draining your BANDWIDTH. It's important, because it's also a simple demonstrable harm. If you pay $30 per month for your internet bandwidth, and the ads use up half of it (conservative estimate), then ads are harming you at the rate of $15 per month. Because Google purposely don't allow you to block the ads in android (*), that is a clear, monetary, demonstrable, harm.

      (*) Google should be forced to put a big red button on their settings that will block all ads coming into the android device, and all in-app advertising traffic, if the user presses it. It should be force to do so or else be held as an accomplice on bandwidth theft. (**)

      (**) Yes, I know, I'm dreaming. But I'd support a class action suit that would aim to accomplish this.

      • Re:ads (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Smallpond (221300) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:34AM (#47514311) Homepage Journal

        Because Google should not be in business to make money. They should just give you free stuff.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          well, no. That "disable all advertising" could also disable all of google's apps, if google wishes not to give away stuff for free, for example. The device is usable, just none of the google apps, like gmail, etc. would work. And yes, that pretty much cripples the device, but at least the option would be there...and perhaps there would be alternative apps (even for purchase kind) that would lack that data feedback that current phones/apps have.

          How come I can turn on and use my computer without having any ad

          • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @08:49AM (#47514623) Homepage

            "How come I can turn on and use my computer without having any adware running on it, and I can't do that with a phone?"

            Because you made a choice for which you refuse to take responsibility. If you want Android, but don't want Google Apps, you simply get a phone that is configured as such. Stop whining that you bought a product and it is doing what it is designed to do. If you don't like Apple's Walled Garden, don't buy Apple. If you don't like Google apps, buy a phone that doesn't bundle them and then don't install them. You are making a choice, and then crying like a little girl that you made the wrong choice (for you and a small handful of others, that is) and want Googe to eat the cost of your ignorance.

            • by tepples (727027)

              If you want Android, but don't want Google Apps, you simply get a phone that is configured as such.

              Which such phone, other than the Fire Phone by Amazon, is sold in the United States?

              Stop whining that you bought a product and it is doing what it is designed to do.

              We're whining that all products sold near us are designed to do something that we find undesirable.

              • WIkipedia has a list of a dozen open-source phones with operating systems such as OpenMoko and Firefox OS, which includes parts of Android:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

                Nokia makes Android phones without the Google apps, and Google gives away the base operating system that allows them to do so.
                http://www.pcmag.com/article2/... [pcmag.com]

                Cyanogenmod lets you run Android with no Google apps, some Google apps, or all Google apps - whatever you want.
                http://www.cyanogenmod.org/ [cyanogenmod.org]

                Ubuntu Touch may appeal to you:
                http://www.u [ubuntu.com]

              • by ADRA (37398)

                "We're whining that all products sold near us are designed to do something that we find undesirable."

                Whining about a lack of choice is perfectly reasonable, and in the perfect world, a large enough population of people should be able to solve the issue with market forces and unrestricted market entry.

                Dumb phones still exist, so the choice is yours for not settling for them, or the many other competing phone platforms in the market. We as a society have chosen walled gardens and interconnected services, many

            • FWIW, I haven't noticed adware on my iPhone, although there may be some in the App Store I could acquire if I wanted. There may be other smart phones with different OSes that don't support adware.

              Unfortunately, smartphones are more restricted than general-purpose computers, so it's much harder to customize them.

              • I have been using Android since the first device ... the T-Mobile G1 ... came out. In fact I pre-ordered it before it was released. It has never been a problem for me either, and I use plenty of apps. This whole thing is much ado about nothing, really. Yes some apps have an ad in them, but I never really even notice them. I pay attention to the UI and don't click on the ads. Thus my reason for not having any sympathy for the winers, who are likely M$ schills or just plain idiots.
              • The difference between iOS and Android in this respect was that during the Android 1.x days, manufacturers and carriers sold Android phones in countries where Google hadn't yet opened Google Checkout. This meant that in order to get an app into Android Market in any of those countries, the developer had to make the app available without charge. The common way to do that involved selling advertising space. This set price expectations on Android lower than they are on iOS, where Apple has made sure to open th
          • Because they hadn't thought of advertising when computers were invented.

            By the time phones came around- ads were in the revenue model for web apps.

            By parallel, you can't use many web sites without turning on the advertising.

            At least for now, there are no ads when I'm using my phone simply as a phone.

            I don't see this lawsuit having any last effects. Most users will install an app after being informed the app needs "Advertising" and "User data transmission" permissions.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Yes. Like TV is "free" with ads that take lots of space. Thankfully, the TV content makers don't make TVs and stereos, so we still get "mute" buttons. With Android, the ad maker is essentially the device maker (via the O/S), so they did leave out the common "mute" button, as well as any easy way for it to be emulated.
      • The situation is even worse when you remember that the overwhelming majority of the advertisements try to install crappyware on your computer, or offer dubious products.
      • I have a 500 mb plan with unlimited voice and text for $40 with tmobile.

        My first month I hit that cap halfway through but now that I see how quick that comes, I just leave mobile data off. I have wifi pretty much everywhere I go. I save the mobile data for directions or an occasional search.

        • So...you're voluntarily paying for something you don't actually need and don't use it on purpose?
          • by tepples (727027)
            "Voluntary" only in the sense that one would have to buy and carry two handsets otherwise. U.S. cellular carriers tend to refuse to sell plans with no data at all to users of devices whose IMEI matches that of a smartphone.
          • It looks like JackieBrown is paying for a capability that is mostly unused but occasionally wanted. That's considerably different.

            • Well, I don't have a data plan but my data connections don't seem to be blocked, they're merely metered and unreasonably expensive to use with zero fixed costs if I don't use them at all. So much for the difference. :)
        • by afidel (530433)

          Better to just turn off background mobile data, that way only apps you're actually interacting with will be able to access the mobile data network and you won't have to toggle something every time you want to actually use your plan.

        • by ADRA (37398)

          Most applications from Google can be specifically configured to not run over mobile. Just don't watch videos or download countless imaginees and you'll be fine. The first month is ALWAYS the heaviest month you'll use mobile data on any given phone, at least from my experience (because you want to try everything, and still working out how best to integrate the phone into your life, etc..).

  • by fisted (2295862) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @05:31AM (#47513955)
    Your Ad Here!
  • Privacy is dead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qbast (1265706) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @05:36AM (#47513969)
    So in other words your privacy is worthless as judge decided that loss of privacy is not 'demonstrable harm'.
    • Re:Privacy is dead (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AudioEfex (637163) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:00AM (#47514051)

      I'm sorry but anyone who is idiot enough to have an Android phone and DOESN'T know that of course since you sign into your Goggle account with it the same damn data sharing is going to happen just like wherever you use their services on any device is, well, an idiot. The question is, though, what harm comes from that - and that's up to each user to decide when they choose to use it or not. Since users sign up for and consent to the service - I see why it takes an actual technicality like this to make it actionable (even if it does highlight the often absurdity of our legal system).

      Basically, I know it's all cool to get all up in arms about this stuff and the principle, etc., but the truth is - if you are going to use a single commercial device to access your entire data "life", and if you use Google services in particular, you know what you are getting at this point. It's those ads that pay for Goggle to give so many of it's services away for free. It may be wrong, it may be right, it really doesn't matter because it's the very definition of "it is what it is". It's the price you pay for using a "smart" phone because you won't find one that doesn't have privacy implications. As a user you decide - is the convenience/cache of owning one worth it? If the answer is no, go get yourself a "feature" phone burner and replace it once a month, or however often your paranoia leads you to do so - and don't access any data services on it.

      My guess is, 99% of the folks who are going to make comments about this and bemoan privacy have smartphones - they are not necessary, they are a convenience/luxury - one that I use, but if I really was so concerned I wouldn't have one, or use Goggle's services - much less an OS designed by them - or iOS and their Cloud shit, etc. It's a trade off of modern life, if you want the cool toys, you can't play anonymous secret super agent spy. (Which leads to the "what are you doing that makes you think anyone gives a fuck" question, but that is a separate issue entirely.)

      • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:33AM (#47514139)

        Technology nerds, especially those who frequent sites like Slashdot where discussions of privacy are frequent and nary a day passes without mention of Snowden, know the trade-off of Google services*. I wonder how well non-technical people understand it. Google Now kind if shoves it in your face, making it very clear that Google knows when you're at work, when you're at home, what TV shows you like, etc. I wonder what percent of average people who don't use Google Now really understand what the cost of Google services is. It would be interesting to see a survey.

        * I make no value judgement about the privacy cost. Some customers are okay with the privacy cost of using these excellent free services, other people choose not to. Personally, I choose to make that trade only with Google. One company has my profile, and in exchange I get many services.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Personally, I choose to make that trade only with Google. One company has my profile, and in exchange I get many services.

          You can't really be that naive are you? When Google has your data, Google's business partners have it too (part or parcel), the law can have it through subpoenas, the NSA... just about everybody.

          Besides, I suspect Google uses the data in ways I don't want it to be used. So even if it was the sole guardian of it, I don't want to give it to them. Not willingly anyway, and as little as poss

          • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @08:52AM (#47514639)

            > When Google has your data, Google's business partners have it too (part or parcel),

            All evidence I've seen, and common sense, indicates that the data is very valuable to Google and they don't want anyone else to have it. They'll sell ads to other companies, which Google displays based on the data, but they don't sell the data. That would be giving the other company the goose that lays the golden eggs. Google prefers to sell the eggs, over and over again. If you have any evidence to the contrary, please cite it.

            Of course the NSA illegally acquires data from most all email providers, ISPs, etc. Even the services that are explicitly based in privacy get NSLs, so to avoid that I could avoid using the internet at all. I'm going to use the internet, so the NSA will be able to snoop until that problem is handled using the three boxes - soap box, ballot box, and if absolutely necessary ammo box.

            • Of course the NSA illegally acquires data from most all email providers, ISPs, etc. Even the services that are explicitly based in privacy get NSLs, so to avoid that I could avoid using the internet at all. I'm going to use the internet, so the NSA will be able to snoop until that problem is handled using the three boxes - soap box, ballot box, and if absolutely necessary ammo box.

              There are four boxes: soap, ballot, jury and ammo.

          • by HiThere (15173)

            Well, OK, Google and the government. But Google won't "share" with it's partners any more than it must, because that's Google's business. What they do is say "You want to have your ad put up to this particular demographic? Great. We can do it. Cash up front." The don't sell the information, they sell access. That's a repeat business. If they sell the contact information, that's a one-time sale.

            P.S.: This is just my opinion, and I have no particular inside information. But it's what makes sense to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by qbast (1265706)

        I'm sorry but anyone who is idiot enough to have an Android phone and DOESN'T know that of course since you sign into your Goggle account with it the same damn data sharing is going to happen just like wherever you use their services on any device is, well, an idiot.

        So you were walking around in the evening and got mugged? Why do you even try to complain, it is your fault.

        The question is, though, what harm comes from that - and that's up to each user to decide when they choose to use it or not. Since users sign up for and consent to the service - I see why it takes an actual technicality like this to make it actionable (even if it does highlight the often absurdity of our legal system).

        Ah yes, "I consent that company does whatever they damn please to me" click-through "agreements". It is now even possible to 'agree' to binding arbitration (and waive your right to class action lawsuit), which shows how much the whole idea is broken.

        Basically, I know it's all cool to get all up in arms about this stuff and the principle, etc., but the truth is - if you are going to use a single commercial device to access your entire data "life", and if you use Google services in particular, you know what you are getting at this point. It's those ads that pay for Goggle to give so many of it's services away for free. It may be wrong, it may be right, it really doesn't matter because it's the very definition of "it is what it is".

        Yes. I know what *is*, I don't like it and I want to change it. This lawsuit is one attempt to make this change.

        It's the price you pay for using a "smart" phone because you won't find one that doesn't have privacy implications. As a user you decide - is the convenience/cache of owning one worth it? If the answer is no, go get yourself a "feature" phone burner and replace it once a month, or however often your paranoia leads you to do so - and don't access any data services on it.

        No, the price I paid was in dollars. I don

        • Re:Privacy is dead (Score:4, Insightful)

          by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @08:55AM (#47514657) Homepage

          The same exact reasoning to justify TSA

          They're incomparable. TSA is mandated by governments, you have no choice in the matter. Using a particular brand of smartphone is not. You are free to use a smartphone that doesn't use Google services and indeed are free to buy a Nexus 5 and then say "no" to the billion and one "trade data for feature?" prompts that appear when switched on the first time. No government goon is going to step in and insist that you send all your data to Google.

          In fact, if you would prefer a smartphone that has a different data/features tradeoff then - conveniently! - Google provides a rather good open source operating system for free that you can use to build one. If others feel the same way you do you can even sell them without paying Google a dime.

        • "So you were walking around in the evening and got mugged? Why do you even try to complain, it is your fault."

          No, you were walking around in the evening and someone asked politely: "Hey, if you'd like I'll trade you these services for your personl information", and you said yes. You could have said no, but you didn't. You said yes. Just grow the fsck up and stop crying that you shouldn't have to be responsible for the consequences of your decisions.

      • Its great, has no apps, just ads, and a crap messanger toy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        > Basically, I know it's all cool to get all up in arms about this stuff and the principle, etc.

        It's not cool. It's simply my fucking duty towards society. And yours too, btw.

      • I'd guess that a given a clear choice, a majority here would choose a free ad supported, information sharing app over a paid, no-info sharing app. If you have a crap load of free apps on your phone, you are taking advantage of the value of that information you are providing.

        Not knowing exactly what information about me sits in the Google repository, and what portion of it can be traced directly back to me is the troubling part. I don't care if all that info is turned into 'generic' or 'anonymous' info an
        • by HiThere (15173)

          Depends.

          I switched from MSWind to Linux back before Linux had a decent word processor, because I wouldn't agree the the MS EULA. Currently my cell phone doesn't have ANY apps, and it wouldn't support them were I willing to try to install them.
          OTOH, I have som apps installed in my browser, e.g. NoScript.

          But, I *do* have a Google sign-on that I occasionally use. And I rarely block it. I don't have g-mail, because I don't like giving up that much control. This doesn't fool me into thinking my email

      • by TapeCutter (624760) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @08:14AM (#47514477) Journal
        I haven't a mobile phone of any kind for almost a decade but google and facebook know (from my bank) that I have spent some serious dollars on dentistry recently, their computers are thoroughly convinced I should buy a $350 set of plastic clip on teeth. I don't need false teeth but I post something random about the plastic teeth to web sites about once a week, like I'm doing here. I've been doing this for about six weeks, almost every page I visit is now plastered with the same ad (I clicked on it once just to tease them).

        There's some people selling porcelain teeth that started following me last week, I'm currently experimenting with different phrases to see if I can ignite a bidding war between the two vendors. Would love to know how much they have spent on me so far....

        Your post is spot on, it's exceedingly difficult to opt out of the civilization you found yourself born into. Ridicule is the best defense against extremists, so my advice is try to have some fun with the absurdities of "targeted advertising", and the crusaders who are battling it..

        Disclaimer: For many years I have had the slashdot "disable advertising" option available, I don't use it because I actually want slashdot to make a few pennies from my eyeballs. It's also humourous seeing ads for religious scams posted to a bunch of atheist nerds ranting against religion. If we keep burning gods money like that maybe (s)he won't be able to buy as many congressmen in the future.
      • I don't have a smart phone... when it comes to choosing a new cell phone I want good battery life and the ability to make and receive calls. My current phone takes very little time to charge and will last up to 72 hours depending how much it's used. {not usually 72 hours because I rarely go that long with out a phone call}

        I was recently shopping for a car and the salesman was telling me about how you can connect your smart phone with bluetooth and all the amazing features. Finally he notices that I was just

      • It's those ads that pay for Goggle to give so many of it's services away for free. It may be wrong, it may be right, it really doesn't matter because it's the very definition of "it is what it is". It's the price you pay for using a "smart" phone because you won't find one that doesn't have privacy implications.

        Supporting a service with advertisements is quite a bit different than supporting a service by stalking your users.

        Privacy is an essential pillar of the social contract. The right to be left alone and not continuously stalked are basic human rights
        people are just not going to give up because some marketing company thinks it would be swell if they did.

        "Snowden" proved lots of people (A lot more than I could ever imagine frankly) give a shit.

        It's a trade off of modern life, if you want the cool toys, you can't play anonymous secret super agent spy. (Which leads to the "what are you doing that makes you think anyone gives a fuck" question, but that is a separate issue entirely.)

        With technical knowledge and time you can have a smart phone with s

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by penix1 (722987)

      Better yet, from TFS...

      That means there's a good chance we're about to get a look into the ins and outs of Google's advertising backbone: what information is shared with whom, and when.

      Google: Judge, we are filing this motion to seal any and all documents for trade secret and proprietary information reasons. To release them would do irreparable harm to our business.

      Judge: Granted

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Inasmuch as the plaintiffs had the opportunity to discontinue the use of Google's products when the policy changed, that's correct. If Pizza Hut changes its name to Poop On Bread Hut and starts selling poop on bread, and you still shop there, that's on you.

      However the judge agrees with the plaintiffs that they bought Android device which tied them into the changed privacy policy, and that Google was aware of the impending change at the time it was marketing devices. This would be like, I don't know, prepayi

      • by qbast (1265706)
        ... which has nothing to do at all with 'it is harming battery life' argument
        • by Sockatume (732728)

          This thread is about whether privacy infringement constitutes harm in this context, though.

      • by Bob_Who (926234)

        If Pizza Hut changes its name to Poop On Bread Hut and starts selling poop on bread, and you still shop there, that's on you.

        Eewwww,

        I hate Poop on Bread.... Hut.

        Pizza is dead, too.

    • Your privacy is indeed worthless if you aren't doing anything to protect it yourself - if you are expecting everyone else to protect your privacy for you when you don't take even basic steps to protect it yourself then I have no sympathy.

      At some point you need to take some responsibility for your own privacy.

    • Loss of privacy isn't "demonstratable harm" because you agreed to said "loss of privacy." For future reference, if you lie face down and let some guy have his way with you, that isn't rape either. It doesn't mean consent laws are "worthless". It just means you don't get to give consent and then have the protections provided by them.
  • I don't care about the battery, I care more on the personal info that google crawls.
    • I don't care about the battery, I care more on the personal info that google crawls.

      Well, I care about the battery. If I'm going to trade my privacy for cool stuff, it had better dang well be cool!

  • by countach (534280) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @05:52AM (#47514025)

    It seems odd in so far as this precedent would seem to set up every application you ever buy for court audit to make sure it is absolutely as efficient as it possibly can be. If not, it could be using your electricity or draining your battery.

    • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:23AM (#47514117)

      One of the more important words used in law is "reasonable". The phrases "reasonable man" and "reasonable care" are used particularly often. I'd bet the concept applies in about half of all civil suits. If a court rules that a product should be reasonably efficient (and reasonably durable, reasonably effective, etc) that it no way means that it has to be perfectly optimized.

      Consider if a product, perhaps a car, tended to fall apart after just a few months of use. You'd expect lawsuits, and the plaintiffs would have a valid claim because a car should be reasonably durable. That doesn't mean all cars need to be built like a Sherman tank. This is well established law, applied in many contexts. In fact, the only area I can think of where we've gotten away from a reasonableness standard is medical malpractice. By statute, that's supposed to be a similar standard, but juries have moved toward expecting medical professionals to be perfect, not just act reasonably.

      • by ADRA (37398)

        I've got a Nexus 5 and the amount of data wasted on systems updates is pretty small, and that's with syncing my entire google catelog of services. How can someone sue for a service that can be TURNED OFF, hence saving your entire reason for sueing.

        The shitty thing about this suit is that Google actually makes very good use of elecricity and has spent years getting it to the point where battery usage for regular background activities like described are well performing. Its an insult to all good nerds to be i

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:16AM (#47514089)

    The lawsuit also rides on the fact that these people bought Android phones at a time when Google already knew (but was not telling anyone) that it would be changing its privacy policy. By being forced to replace their devices - which automatically had the new policy applied to them - the customers have been demonstrably harmed. In fact this appears in the paperwork before the battery drain issue.

    • The lawsuit also rides on the fact that these people bought Android phones at a time when Google already knew (but was not telling anyone) that it would be changing its privacy policy. By being forced to replace their devices - which automatically had the new policy applied to them - the customers have been demonstrably harmed. In fact this appears in the paperwork before the battery drain issue.

      Right, so Google will issue them a refund plus $5 for wasted electricity over the life of the phone and everyone will go on with their lives?

  • by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:26AM (#47514285)

    This would be like suing a hacker who formatted your company web server and the judge refusing to accept the argument that the damage was harm to reputation and loss of business, and instead only accepting the claim of increased electric bill and wear/tear on the hard drives.

  • Windows users: set a system-wide proxy and watch the traffic to Microsoft on a regular basis. Windows update, CRL, other mysterious links, and of course their associated DNS queries. How much bandwidth does that suck up?

    • by Dutch Gun (899105)

      Windows users: set a system-wide proxy and watch the traffic to Microsoft on a regular basis. Windows update, CRL, other mysterious links, and of course their associated DNS queries. How much bandwidth does that suck up?

      Window Update? How dare Microsoft regularly and automatically patch known security flaws in their OS and other software.

      *shakes fist in Redmond's general direction*

      • by Gothmolly (148874)

        I'm bandwidth-constrained. I'd prefer Windows didn't suck up bytes when I didn't ask it to. Is that so hard?

        • by rwise2112 (648849)

          I'm bandwidth-constrained. I'd prefer Windows didn't suck up bytes when I didn't ask it to. Is that so hard?

          It's pretty easy to turn it off.

          • by afidel (530433)

            Especially in Windows 8 where you just assign the connection as a metered connection and most of the background stuff gets turned off without diving any further into the system. (Yes I know tech sites like to bag on Win8, and in many cases deservedly so, but there are genuine innovations that are useful contained in it)

          • by Gothmolly (148874)

            Really? You can have IE NOT check CRLs every time you open a window?

  • So sending information over a network well using a battery to power the system will drain the battery, how can this be a law suit? Wouldn't this be the same as saying, "My phone turns on and works but the battery drains so I'm suing you!" I would make the group of the law suit demonstrate a battery that doesn't that doesn't drain and can still allow network communication, when they can do that they can proceed, other wise just stop.
    • by tepples (727027)
      As I understand the logic, it's "If your apps didn't attempt to communicate over the network without my asking each time, my battery wouldn't be drained and my carrier wouldn't charge me overages."
      • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
        If I monitor my entire app driven data transfer, the ones that happen without me knowing, I might sit around the 100MB level, low enough for me not to care or really for anyone else to care. App tell you if they are going to require network access when you download them, if you skip the screen which tells you that then don't complain.
        • by tepples (727027)

          App tell you if they are going to require network access when you download them

          Google Play Store's permission screen doesn't tell you how much data an app can transfer in any given time.

          • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
            No but it does tell you that the app will transfer data. If you're that worried about the amount of data transferred then use the application for a minute or two and reference the data usage screen.
            • by tepples (727027)

              No but it does tell you that the app will transfer data.

              It's hard to find apps whose manifest doesn't request the INTERNET permission. Is there some sort of control within Google Play Store that would let the user filter apps by permissions?

              If you're that worried about the amount of data transferred then use the application for a minute or two

              Which would require first buying the app, after which point my ISP already has my money for the bandwidth used for downloading it, and Google already has my money for buying it.

              • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
                Then don't buy a smart phone or don't use the play store, problem solved to an issue that didn't exist.
              • by stoploss (2842505)

                It's hard to find apps whose manifest doesn't request the INTERNET permission. Is there some sort of control within Google Play Store that would let the user filter apps by permissions?

                I presume you understand that your desired mode of operation is far outside the typical user's goal of having things Just Work(tm). Concordantly, you are likely going to have to accept non-maintstream solutions.

                That said, I share your goals.

                I rooted my phone and installed DroidWall to configure the built-in Android iptables firewall in whitelist mode. I whitelist the apps I wish to have internet access (either over WiFi, cellular network, or both); all other apps are blocked from accessing the network at al

  • I'm wondering how Google intends to provide the information. Ostensibly, any RF communication is going to be expensive in terms of power consumption but certainly if you turn off the radios you could get a power profile that represents the state of an Andorid device without all of the activity going on to Google's servers. It's tenuous but while this only affects Google I'm wondering if Apple and MSFT are watching this because you know damn well they're doing it with IOS and Windows Phone to some extent.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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