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Samsung's Context service will collect user data to share with developers

Korean firm apparently hasn't heard of PRISM
Wed Feb 12 2014, 10:26
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KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung reportedly is working on a service called Context that will collect more data from its smartphone users which it then will share with app developers.

That's according to The Information, which has heard that Samsung is developing a service called Context that will collect data such as what a person types, what apps they use, and what data their smartphone's sensors pick up. Samsung will then share this user data with developers to help them "enrich their applications".

For example, the report said that a video service could automatically display sports videos for somebody that often searches for sports, or who often types messages relating to football.

The feature is unlikely to debut on Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone, though, as The Information added that due to internal disputes regarding whether such a feature would actually boost sales of Galaxy smartphones, it's unclear whether the feature will see a launch. It probably would be good for the firm to drop the feature, with recent surveillance revelations having made consumers more privacy aware.

Beyond chatter about Samsung's Context service, The Information backed up a recent report that the firm met with Google to discuss the future of Android, which could lead to Samsung scaling back its custom Touchwiz and Magazine UX Android skins. Interestingly, the report added that the meeting was held just one day before Google's sale of Motorola.

These talks see Google trying to put an end to Android fragmentation and tighten its loose grip on the mobile operating system. This was supported further yesterday by a report claiming that Google will force OEMs to use the latest version of Android in order to offer access to Google Play.

These rumours come despite Samsung having dropped hints that the Galaxy S5 will feature a greater focus on user privacy when it debuts on 24 February at Mobile World Congress. µ


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