Friday, June 14, 2024

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    Your location can be tracked from any Android phone – How to avoid this problem?

    More specifically, your movements can be tracked in the Google Maps app on another person’s phone if you made that simple mistake, warned security expert, researcher Pieter Arntz, who works for the renowned company Malwarebytes. He explained in detail how he accidentally followed his wife’s whereabouts without installing any spyware or knowing her phone code.

    It turns out that the Google Play Store can be the perfect way to track someone’s location — with updated location data displayed in Google Maps.

    Security expert Arntz wrote that he wanted to install a paid Android application on his wife’s phone. Since he had already bought software for his device once and saw no reason to buy it again, Arntz signed in to the Google Play Store app on his wife’s smartphone and downloaded the software under a list of previously purchased apps.

    “Everything went well, but after I installed the application and tested whether it worked, I forgot to log out of Google Play,” he explains on the blog.

    Your location can be tracked from any Android phone - How to avoid this problem

    Returning to his phone, Arntz began noticing fake locations appearing in his location history within Google Maps. For those who don’t know, Google Maps records all your locations when they use the app. This data is then analyzed to give the app better route suggestions – or places near your location, such as restaurants.

    “He showed me the places I was, but I never actually visited them,” he said.

    It turned out that the Google Maps app on Arntz’s phone actually listed the locations his wife visited — with her phone, with his Google account reported in the Play Store app in his pocket.

    After realizing what happened and logging out of his wife’s Google Play Store app, Arntz revealed that he can still track her movements within the Google Maps app, reports.

    He explains: “After I logged out of Google Play on my wife’s phone, the problem is still unresolved. After some digging, I found out that my Google account was added to the accounts in my wife’s phone, but it wasn’t removed when I logged out. ”

    Google Maps is not a spy tool, but it can achieve a similar result
    Malwarebytes sent a problem report to Google to highlight the problem. In the meantime, if you’ve previously used your friends ‘and family members’ login information to avoid paying for apps, movies, ebooks, or songs multiple times, it may be worth checking which accounts are logged in to your phone.

    To do this, go to Settings> Accounts & Backups> Account Management. This will display a list of all accounts with permissions on your device. You can remove anything you don’t recognize, as it will have access to GPS data collected by your smartphone.

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