Russia’s biggest internet company could soon put the data of smartphone users around the world at risk with its latest software development.
Alarming reports suggest that Russian authorities could potentially track user data through application software designed with this malicious intent in mind, as the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
The company called Yandex could carry out these actions through its new software development kit, also known as “AppMetrica”, which allows creators to design applications for all devices running on both Google’s Android systems and Apple’s iOS.
But how can the software application do just that? Well, the tech giants believe that AppMetrica enables the collection of user data which is then transmitted to various servers in Finland and Russia.
Information provided to Russia could additionally be accessed by the government to track certain individuals, the official said. FinancialTimes.
So far, AppMetrica has managed to install games, different messaging apps, and a number of VPNs.
In case you didn’t know, Yandex is similar to Google’s equivalent in Russia and for this reason it is also under intense scrutiny, especially after the recent invasion of Russian forces in Ukraine.
Not only has AppMetrica been accused of censoring reports from Ukraine, but the organization’s former chief information officer has also been accused of ordering colleagues to resign, due to the wide spread of misinformation and helping with censorship.
Other reports go so far as to suggest how Western world sanctions have piled up against Russia to also trigger the resignation of a number of board members.
An expert by the name of Zach Edwards who made the shocking discovery has revealed how AppMetrica’s SDK is designed so intricately that it can dive deep into a user’s meta-details and track their existence through both apps and websites.
This means that so many smartphone users are currently exposed to vicious attacks or other types of alarming surveillance, especially those in the “highest jobs”.
In a surprising attempt, Yandex has confirmed to a newspaper how its software actually collects device and network IP addresses which are then stored in Russia and Finland. However, he clarified that there was only limited data that was not able to identify users.
They further clarified the company’s stance of adhering to a strict code of conduct whenever it chooses to handle government requests.
He concluded that its mechanism of action was quite similar to that of “international peers” like Google’s Firebase, but many are still skeptical of its justification.
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