Google to acquire Motorola Mobility

Major news to start the week.  Google will dish out $12.5B for Motorola’s mobile phone making arm.  This signals the search giant’s first significant commitment to hardware in the mobile space.

The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

— Google Press Release

What does this mean for the likes of Samsung, LG, and other Android-dependent manufacturers? I guess time will tell.

via This is my next

Privacy concerns found in Pandora’s Android app

From ThreatPost:

That free service comes at a price, Veracode found. Researchers who took apart the application and studied its code found libraries for five different ad networks embedded in the Pandora application. Those libraries collected and trasmitted a variety of different data from the Android phone and its owner. The data included both the owner’s GPS location and tidbits the owners gender, birthday and postal code information. There was evidence that the app attempted to provide continuous location monitoring – which would tell advertisers not just where the user accessed the application from, but also allow them to track that user’s movement over time.

I tend to overreact when it comes to privacy concerns, but I think this represents a legitimate concern for everyone in the era of free mobile apps. While the developer might not give up personal data maliciously or even knowingly, advertisers who offer up software packages to developers for ad placement might be slightly more nefarious.  App developers should be cautious as to what info their apps are divulging, and consumers should realize that  “free” doesn’t always mean “free”.  You might be giving up a lot more personal info than you think.