Just days after the house rolled back privacy protections for internet users, would ISPs take advantage? The EFF is pointing out that Verizon has already announced that it will install spyware, in the form of the launcher AppFlash, across its users’ Android devices in the coming weeks.
AppFlash, as TechCrunch reports, will embed itself to the left of your home screen, offering details on local restaurants, movies or apps that you can download.
Verizon admits that the information will be shared within “the Verizon family of companies,” including AOL. From there, the data will be used to “provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places.” The other places being a euphemism for banner and display advertising all across the web.
To be fair, Verizon justifies its stance by saying that it’ll need some of this data in order to make on-demand services work. How, after all, can it seamlessly tell you local movie times and call you an Uber to the cinema if it doesn’t know where you are? Not to mention that Google already snatches most of this information for its own purposes.
But, as the EFF points out, most of the Android devices on ‘s network will now have a common app that hackers will be probing for holes. Should a nefarious type find such a vulnerability, then you can be sure that same personal data will be sold off to the highest bidder.