Android 15 helps protect users from being tracked

by nativetechdoctor
2 minutes read

Android phones are more vulnerable than users generally assume. Google has recently introduced a new security feature in its latest Android 15 version which will help the platform notify users when their mobile network collects their device IDs or uses unsafe connections. This feature has been designed to protect users from ‘stingray’ tracking devices which are used by law enforcement agencies and criminal organizations to spy on information. Stingray devices can trick the user’s device into connecting to it and collect the device’s unique ID or block messages and calls by switching the device to an unsecured connection.

With the latest security feature, Android 15 will alert users when their mobile network collects their device’s IMSI or IMEI – two identifiers that respectively identify the SIM and the device itself. Users will also receive a warning when the network attempts to switch the device to an unencrypted connection. However, Google has stated that this feature will only be available on select devices with modems that support the new Cellular Identifier Disclosure Transparency Abstraction Layer (HAL) API.

This new feature is just one of Google’s ongoing efforts to protect user privacy. The company has previously introduced other security features in Android, such as support for disabling 2G connections and disabling connections that use invalid cellular encryption. It is important to note that the use of ‘stingray’ is a controversial issue, as it allows law enforcement agencies to collect confidential data from criminal suspects. Critics have expressed concern that the ‘stingray’ could also be used to spy on journalists and political activists.

In addition to the new security feature, Google also recommends that users take other precautions to ensure their privacy, such as using strong passwords and enabling two-factor authentication.

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