Verizon plans to install an app called AppFlash on its Android devices in the coming weeks. This app is a sort of search hub taken from Evie Launcher to the left of your screen, like Google Now launcher has Google Now to the side. Unfortunately, it collects a lot of data about you.
To function as an app and media discovery tool, it needs to collect data about you, including contacts, installed apps, device info, location, and more. Of course, Google records all this information too, but it’s unfortunate that Verizon had to copy a Google service and do the same thing.
The data will be shared with “the Verizon family of companies,” though it will be anonymized. It will also be used for advertisements both in AppFlash and outside of it.
The EFF has issued a statement that another data collection app is just another vector for attack, especially since every Android device on the Verizon network will have this app installed. The EFF has retracted much of its harsh statement after Verizon’s explanations, though.
The app is currently being tested on the LG K20 V and is opt-in, but it could roll out to more Android phones from Verizon soon. At best, it’s just more bloatware that will be disabled by power users and ignored by the general public. At its worst, it’s a security risk and a data collection tool. We’re sure most customers won’t be happy about this move. Thankfully, Verizon says it can be disabled. Let us know what you think in the comments!