Messages from Android , the Google app to send SMS, MMS and chat via RCS from both the Android mobile phone and the computer, is implementing an automatic protection against spam via text message . Although a priori this function may seem an interesting and beneficial feature, it is causing concern among users for privacy reasons.
The phone spam is very annoying and can be very dangerous. In the case of text messages, cybercriminals use this communication channel to launch phishing campaigns through SMS, so that users run the risk of receiving one of these malicious messages and that criminals steal their personal data. or financial.
To prevent this problem, a few days ago Google began to deploy among some users the automatic protection against spam in the application Messages for Android . This function launches a filter that proactively detects and blocks spam messages that can be dangerous. The Mountain View company has confirmed that the feature is already available to some users, and expects to launch it extensively in the coming months.
Up to here everything perfect. What happens is that this solution raises privacy issues, as detected in Android Police . According to this medium, when the function is active, “certain information about received messages, such as incoming telephone numbers, is sent to Google.” Of course, no identifying data are included, such as the user’s phone number or the content of the message.
The Mountain View giant has played down the way he tracks and stores the details of the sent SMS. “To help identify spammers, Google temporarily stores the phone numbers of people who send and receive messages with you , as well as the times they sent the SMS, but it does not store your phone number or the content of these. messages, “a Google spokesperson told The Verge in a statement
If you have the Android Messages app, in case the feature has already been enabled for you, you will see a notification that alerts you that the function has been activated. If you do not trust privacy issues, you can disable the feature in Settings> Advanced> Protection against spam .