In response to a research report detailing the data collected by Google's Phone and Messages applications, including call and text logs, the company has modified both programs to respect privacy more.
Google Play Services tells all users that it collects data for purposes of updating your phone and syncing data, but recent research suggests that data on a single person or numerous people could be linked more deeply. Additionally, the data sent that was revealed in the report did not appear to be protected by Google's Privacy Policies, and opting out in most circumstances did not appear to be an option.
The said research has been published by Professor Douglas Leith of Trinity College Dublin, a new study paper exposing the data collected by apps enabled by Google Play Services. The study focuses on just two apps, Google Messages and Google Phone, which are the primary SMS/MMS/RCS and dialer apps that come pre-installed on the Pixel series and other Android phones, and each app has received over a billion downloads.
Furthermore, each potential privacy violation in the paper, Trinity College has offered a recommendation for how Google should better generalize the information to keep important analytics while safeguarding an individual's privacy. Google has been working closely with Trinity College to execute these changes for the past few months.