Don’t ever trust your smartphone to keep your secrets. That should be your own personal rule and reminder to not use the device for any unscrupulous activities. Sure, it’s supposed to be private but with the way app developers and OEMs are designing their products and services, it is always best to be careful and not to be too trusting. It can be easy to check but we won’t always know what is safe and secure or not. Good thing there are groups of researchers working to find out if some apps or services are doing beyond what they are supposed to do.

An Android keyboard is said to be spying on its users and selling them to third parties. This GO Keyboard was discovered by AdGuard to be keeping data entered using the keyboard including passwords, messages, texts, and logins. All these are recorded and then sent to other groups by the keyboard app. Information is sent to remote servers using a technique that is prohibited. With this process, some dangerous executable code can be downloaded to a mobile device.

At present, GO Keyboard is being used by over 200 million people worldwide. The app was developed by GOMO Dev Team, a team of Chinese developers. On the other hand, AdGuard is an app for Android that inspects traffic of different apps. It works as a filtering log to provide a list of web requests apps send. With AdGuard, you can even record an Http Archive file (HAR) so you can check what is exactly in the request.

AdGuard noted how the GO Keyboard was careful to say “We will never collect your personal info including credit card information.” Unfortunately, the app is doing otherwise and its privacy policy is even contradicting the first statement. The app is found to be downloading data and sends information to other parties and communicates with a lot of them regularly. Without a user’s consent, the GO keyboard sends data to its servers including device model, Android version and build, network type, location, language, screen size, and Google account email.

The AdGuard has already informed Google of GO Keyboard’s violations. If you use the keyboard app, we suggest you delete it to be sure.

SOURCE: ADGUARD